From pothole to published author, Torture is an amazing and intimate journey... a journey of soul-searching and redemption. A journey possible only byFrom pothole to published author, Torture is an amazing and intimate journey... a journey of soul-searching and redemption. A journey possible only by the grace of an angel and one woman's indomitable spirit.
When Lori Nelson steps in a pothole on her street, virtually destroying her foot and shattering her soul, life as she knows it over. Or so she thinks. But, it seems, every time that inner voice says "I can't"... Lori discovers that she can. Souls and bones heal, but it takes time.
It isn't easy. It isn't pretty. It is long, slow torture. Telling herself every day, for days and weeks on end, that she can't, her own mind and body... guided by an angel named Graham... proves the lie to all those negative thoughts and feelings.
Torture is a frank... often brutal, often intimate... and transformative story. An experience that only a person with the keen insight of not just herself, but the human spirit, that Lori has could possibly tell. Interjected with equal doses of honesty, psychology and humour, Torture is a must-read for anyone who has ever doubted themselves in the face of adversity.
Brava, Lori... brava!
Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw (Writing under a large mushroom, somewhere in the Pacific Northwest)...more
(Reviewer's note: I received, upon request, a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Howard Books - a division of Simon & Schuster, i(Reviewer's note: I received, upon request, a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Howard Books - a division of Simon & Schuster, in exchange for my honest review. vmls)
Fame... one's own or that of a friend or family... and the price that we are willing to pay to protect that fame, coupled with being sexually abused as a young teen set young Anny Donewald on a course... on a journey... of self-destruction that very nearly claimed her soul forever.
Dancing with the Devil tells the heart-wrenching story of a young woman caught up in the world of drugs, sex trafficking, prostitution and trade and her journey to and through that dark, dangerous world that has claimed literally tens of thousands of lives... many to the point of death and many to a life in which death would have been a welcome release from the hell on Earth they found themselves in.
It begins innocently enough... amateur night at a small time strip club. A few bucks... some free drinks are the 'prize'... and 'stories' to tell your friends later ... just another Saturday night, right?
But, wait... that wasn't the beginning of Anny's long dark night - a night that would last for years. No, for Anny the darkness began the first time she was abused by one of the players on her father's college basketball team.
For far, far too many women, their own journey into darkness began - will begin - the same way. Sexually abused at a young age by, not a stranger, but someone known... someone they are close to. Someone they trusted. And like Anny, their guilt and shame over what had been done to them made their own abuse a secret. One, as Anny says, had to be kept at all costs!
For Anny, that night was the beginning of a nightmare that seemed would never end. Guilt and shame overwhelmed her, robbing her of self-esteem, self-worth... robbing her of hope. And just when Anny feels that everything is lost... that she has used up all her chances at life... she has lost everything and everyone... save one... she ever loved or cared about... and she has finally hit rock bottom... and there is nowhere left to go...
A spark inside Anny refuses to die and a tiny voice inside her... a whimper almost lost in her dark despair... "help me... please!"
And God hears that plea... that tiny prayer... and He answers! God picks up Anny and touches her in such a soul-deep way that only our Creator... our Father... our Healer... our Redeemer... can.
Even after all the things Anny has done... after all the times that she turned away from God... all the times she set aside what she had read in the Bible... been told by friends... the messages she heard in church...
Even after all the times Anny turned her back on God... when she finally called out to Him.... He answered. Without hesitation... without condemnation... without any conditions... God answered Anny.
He lifted her up from the darkness and showed her light. He showed Anny his purpose for her.
That moment marked the beginning of Anny's next journey... one of salvation and redemption... one of hope and a message. A journey that would set her on a path of ministry that would come to touch many, many lives... and bring the message of Christ our savior to other lost souls. A message of love... of hope... of grace and mercy to countless 'lost souls', because this was Anny's calling.
It hasn't been an easy journey and I think Anny would be the first one to tell you that her journey is far from over.
At one point in the book, Anny relates something Jesus said to her. "Don't let people tell you who I am; let me show you who I am."
Anny doesn't tell us who Jesus is. She shows us. Her amazing story... from her 'fall from grace' all those years ago to where she is now... her salvation and redemption... the ministry known as Eve's Angels that she began... is an amazing testimony of God's love and of His grace and mercy.
Anny, through God's grace and with the support and encouragement of her cousin Carrie, tells an amazing, riveting and at times heart-stopping story of her journey through darkness and her divine rescue from the sex industry. Anny's open, frank words lay bare a world of depravity... a world no one wants to acknowledge exists... a world that isn't spoken of in polite company and only obliquely referenced in churches. A world that makes us squirm in our seats and change the television channel.
But more than that, it is a testimony of God's amazing grace and healing... and His unconditional, never-ending, never changing love. It is a reminder that we are all His children and there is nothing we can do... no hole so deep or dark or depraved that we find ourselves in... that He can't lift us out of.
Anny Donewald is living proof of that. She is also proof that the 'cycle' can be broken. That is part of the message of Eve's Angels, the ministry that she founded.
It doesn't matter how you got where you are. God will bring you home.
Dancing With The Devil is one of those rare reads that is hard to put down. It is told in such a compelling manner and voice that one could easily finish the book in a single sitting. I recommend this book without reservation.
Dancing For The Devil should be on everyone's 'must-read' list!
Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw (writing under a large mushroom, somewhere in the Pacific Northwest) ...more
I should say, this copy. We've managed to go through three copies so far... books and water don't mix well.This book rarely leaves our bedside table.
I should say, this copy. We've managed to go through three copies so far... books and water don't mix well... lol!
Tina and I recommend Jude's book without hesitation. The title reads "101 positions..."... but if you are like me and my inamorata, you will find countless variations... almost another book in itself!...more
(Reviewer’s note – I am an independent writer. I am also a freelance reviewer. On occasion, I receive advance copies of books from publishers, for rev(Reviewer’s note – I am an independent writer. I am also a freelance reviewer. On occasion, I receive advance copies of books from publishers, for review. My reviews are based solely on the merits of the book, and I receive no remuneration from the publisher or author, other than a copy of the book, in exchange for posting a review on my blogs. Through a contest sponsored on Goodreads.com, I recently ‘won’ an ARC of Lauren Kessler’s latest non-fiction book, COUNTER CLOCKWISE. The following is my review. Disclaimer: I have taken care to not, with a couple of minor exceptions, directly quote from the book. Please note that the opinions and any 'claims' the reader may infer from this review are mine, and not necessarily those of the author. Thank you – vmls)
“If I could turn back time… if I could find a way…”
In Diane Warren’s “If I Could Turn Back Time”, Cher sings of love and of regret over things said and things done… wishing to turn back time and take away the hurt. But as we all know, time moves in one direction.
Or, does it…?
In Lauren Kessler’s Counter Clockwise, the author writes of ‘turning back time’ in a more literal and profound sense… in a way that will change your life… in a way that will improve the quality of your life, not just now, but as one grows older… chronologically, that is. With solid research and testimony from experts in their respective fields behind her, Lauren explains that while ‘age’ may be something measured by passing of years on a calendar, how we age… the speed at which we ‘grow older’ is something that we have much, much more control over than one might think.
Lauren’s “Year of Hypnosis, Hormones, Dark Chocolate, and Other Adventures in the World of Anti-Aging”, as Counter Clockwise is subtitled, is an odyssey of discovery… and a search for the truth behind the hype… through the anti-aging ‘realm’. A market that some estimate, in the next couple of years, will exceed $200 billion in revenue.
Lauren explores the pills, supplements, creams, lotions and assorted devices pushed on a largely unsuspecting public that is in search of the fountain of youth. She tackles fitness and exercise regimens that would make even the most hardcore Marine boot camp drill sergeant toss in the towel and head for the lockers. The lure of cosmetic surgery, guaranteed to take years off your body (if not your mind), along with thousands of your hard-earned dollars, sings its siren song to Lauren. Does she succumb? Ha! If you’re expecting spoilers from me, you haven’t been reading my reviews.
Diet. When we hear that word, most of us think in terms of losing weight, but remember this… ‘diet’ is not just a verb. Diet, in the noun form, is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle and if your quest is to ‘turn back the hands of time’, what, when and how you eat is even more important. Lauren’s research - I would have loved to be her research assistant, at least for this part - takes her through the science of food and nutrition in search of the right foods and combinations of foods that will promote optimal health and get those narrow black hands winding backward around the clock face. Think you know what a superfood is? Want the real lowdown on dark chocolate and red wine? Pay particular attention to that chapter.
Even a good diet doesn’t mean your body, and mind, can’t use a little help from the supplement market. Lauren has done a great deal of research in the area of supplements and come up with her own list. I think this is a list worth paying attention to.
Exercise… how important is it? Lauren gives us the ‘sweaty truth’. After reading Chapter Eleven, I am rethinking my current exercise regimen… which presently consists of a daily five-mile run - more if my stress level is up. Deadlines and commitments; what are you gonna do? - and thrice-weekly visits to the gym. Yeah, yeah, I know… there are seven days in a week. But, I’m young. I’ve got plenty of time, right? Hmmm… might want to be re-thinking that ‘philosophy’, Veronica.
There is a philosophy, a sound one, by the way… unlike some of the hoke and hype surrounding some diet, exercise, and supplement ‘stay young’ regimens… that explores how the mind contributes to whether we age well, at a ‘normal’ pace, or age quickly.
Lifestyle, diet, attitude… the wrong combination of these can give a thirty-year old the body – inside and out – of a sixty year old. And vice-versa… the right combination… well, imagine being 60 in calendar years but with the outside body of a 50 year old - without the benefit of cosmetic surgery - and the inside body of a 40 year-old? (My words, not Lauren’s – vmls)
In Counterclockwise, Lauren shows us how we can not only slow down the march of time, but even reverse it, to some degree. Has she found the fountain of youth? No… there is no such thing. Forget all those infomercials and so-called ‘experts’ on ‘midnight’ television, hawking the latest ‘key to eternal youth’… it is for the most part little more than ‘snake oil’.
Want to know a secret? You have the key… not to eternal youth, but to living longer… to living younger than the age on your driver’s license.
I hesitate to say that there is one single thing that will ‘turn back time’, that will slow down that clock and turn you into an ‘anti-ager’… but in a very real sense there is.
One thing, from which everything else flows…
Attitude. As is pointed out in the book… “expectation rules outcome”. This is a simple, yet deeply profound truth that it seems, humans need constant reminding of. What we think… how we think… is what we become.
Getting into the proper mindset. Why does anything fail? Diets… exercise… jobs…. relationships… all have one thing in common for not succeeding. Our attitude. If you don’t ‘expect’ to meet that weight goal… if you don’t ‘expect’ to finish that marathon or 10K race… if you don’t ‘expect’ to get that job you want… you won’t! It’s that simple. You can’t just want something to happen… you have to make it happen. All of the research and advice Lauren offers in Counter Clockwise will help you make things happen.
My wife, Christina, has on more than one occasion remarked that I “act like a twelve year-old.” Well, pardon me for not always acting my age, but as Chapter Twelve - unless they get renumbered; I am reading an advance reader copy, not the final ‘to-market’ book – points out, that may not always be a bad thing. If I had only five seconds to summarize the ‘message’ in Chapter Twelve, it would be this…
Think young… live young… be young.
Fortunately, I don’t have only five seconds…
In the 21st century job market, more so than at any other time perhaps, youth… the perception of youth, that is… ‘rules’. Wisdom, experience and knowledge take second place to a pretty face and a ‘fit and trim’ body. You can take the band aid approach to ‘youth’… cosmetic surgery and the latest fad diet, but if what you really want is to look, feel and live not just younger, but longer… with a better quality of life….
Read Counter Clockwise. This book is not 230 pages of opinion and conjecture. The author has, through exhaustive research and at times, incredible self-sacrifice, written a roadmap, if you will, to a happier, healthier and longer life… a life “increasingly disease-resistant and increasingly energetic”. Lauren has consulted with some of the top experts in their respective fields, subjecting her body and mind at times to total strangers, and come away with some very good news.
We can ‘turn back time’. But remember…
You can’t just want something to happen… you have to make it happen.
I’ve read a book or two on self-help, diet and exercise… and wasn’t terribly impressed. I’ve listened to a spiel or two at conventions, fairs and such… and was more impressed with the free water bottles and key fobs than the product or the pitchman’s speech. After reading Counter Clockwise, however… I recommend it without hesitation. I don’t say this about a lot of books I read, but this one… it will be life-changing. Lauren covers all the bases here with good solid advice, as well as some resources, to set you on the path to a more fulfilling life.
Lauren's keen sense of humour, and occasional snarkiness - gotta love it! - made this a thoroughly enjoyable read, as well as being very informative and educational.
There was one thing missing from the book, though.
I didn’t see the chapter on the health benefits of Sonic’s Texas Toast Breakfast Sandwich or Five Guys’ Bacon Jalapeno Cheeseburger (yes, with the cajun fries!)… I’m sure they will be in the final version of Counter Clockwise. Right, Lauren?
One final thought…
“Lauren, I have to side with your daughter on this… don’t mess with my smoothies!”
Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw 12 May 2013 (Writing under a large mushroom, somewhere in the Pacific Northwest) ...more
(Reviewer's note - I am a writer and freelance reviewer. I received no compensation or inducement to review this book. Thank you. vmls)
Nancy Klann-Mor(Reviewer's note - I am a writer and freelance reviewer. I received no compensation or inducement to review this book. Thank you. vmls)
Nancy Klann-Moren’s The Clock of Life is a rich, wonderful story with a distinctive flavor and narrative, engaging characters, and written with a compassion for some of the darkest days in the history of America.
The Clock of Life is an excellent historical fiction, which takes place in the American South in the last quarter of the 20th century. Reminiscent of To Kill A Mockingbird in many respects, The Clock of Life is a “coming-of-age" story about a young boy growing up in a small town in Mississippi. It is a story of truth and freedom… of injustice and inequality.
Told in ‘first-person’, in a clear, compelling voice, Jason Lee, the son of deceased Vietnam War veteran JL Rainey recounts his growing up in Hadlee, Mississippi during a time of much unrest in America. The Vietnam War and the civil rights movement had a profound and lasting impact on much of the country and Jason Lee's 'world' bears much of the brunt of that… a world where racism and intolerance runs deep. Jason Lee learns a great deal about his father and the kind of man he really was through stories from others. It is from these stories that a yearning grows.
In his befriending of a black schoolmate, Jason Lee - through many trials -grows in both character and spirit, learning and appreciating the meaning and value of friendship, freedom and tolerance for others in a society that often takes freedom for granted and does not fully appreciate the sacrifices of those who went before… those who fought and died to secure and ensure freedom for all… and a society that too often turns a blind eye to tolerance and acceptance, unable or unwilling to stand up to injustice and inequality.
Jason Lee wants to be like his father.
Ghosts of the past and the realities of a society rife with injustice and inequality, Jason Lee faces many challenges – not least among them broken hearts and the loss of a very close friend - and while [growing up] he doesn't always make the right decisions, Jason Lee, like the rest of us - especially those who also grew up in that time - learns and grows from his mistakes. He learns that while the 'right thing' isn't always the easiest thing to do… it is the right thing to do.
Jason Lee is becoming the man his father would have been proud to call son.
The author brings a strong narrative style, a very definitive sense of place and a stunning eye for the idiosyncrasies of rural life in the American South to The Clock of Life. Page after page is rich with a flavor that rings true for anyone growing up in that same period and place. One of the greatest strengths of this story, I feel, is the dialogue, with its finely-balanced dialectal quality, which adds to the overall imagery through-out the story.
There is a realism and depth to the characters in The Clock of Life that is sadly lacking in a lot of the fiction on today's market. Historical fiction especially demands richness in character, place and plot. Nancy achieves all three with such seeming ease that one forgets that this is her very first novel.
A minor scene perhaps, but like countless other 'little' scenes throughout the novel, Jason Lee and Samson's first shared experience with moonshine really struck a chord with this reader; in that relatively short passage is a great deal of truth.
A constant thread through-out The Clock of Life is the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War… both times of bitter conflict in which many lost their moral compass, some never to regain it... and the inequality and injustice those events engendered, and the scars left behind.
The Clock of Life is a powerful and thought-provoking morality play, if I may use that phrase, which will have a lasting impact on the reader. I came away from this story with many of the same feelings I had after the first time I read To Kill A Mockingbird. Nancy has written a humbling and inspiring tale of the courage and the strength of the human spirit, a story that evokes in the reader a broad range of emotions and hopefully, a degree of compassion and understanding for our fellow citizens.
If there is one thing we can take away from this story, it is this….
It is one thing to know the difference between right and wrong; that’s something we all learned in the third grade. It is quite another thing to have the courage and conviction of one’s beliefs and to live one’s life for the betterment of mankind and to have empathy and compassion for the family of man. Freedom isn’t free and justice isn’t blind. We should not live our lives with the presumption that freedom doesn’t have a cost and that justice can be dispensed equally with eyes shut.
Nancy has earned numerous accolades – among them, her debut novel was a finalist in the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards - for The Clock of Life, which should come as no surprise, and her novel has been adopted by the Los Medanos College’s English Department, to be taught in the school’s freshman writing classes.
The Clock of Life is a "must-read" and I recommend it without hesitation. Thank you, Nancy, for a thoroughly engaging story… one that will stay with the reader for a long, long time.
Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw 6 August 2013 (Writing under a large mushroom, somewhere in the Pacific Northwest)...more
A quick, enjoyable read... I thoroughly enjoyed Miss Lee's cautionary tale of relationships and losing sight of who we really are... and that we shoulA quick, enjoyable read... I thoroughly enjoyed Miss Lee's cautionary tale of relationships and losing sight of who we really are... and that we should never 'settle' or let anyone 'dim our sparkle'.
(Reviewer's note – In my junior year of college, I suffered a six month ordeal that nearly ended my life and even now, almost seven years later, still(Reviewer's note – In my junior year of college, I suffered a six month ordeal that nearly ended my life and even now, almost seven years later, still has me looking in the back seat before I get in any car and still wakes me in the middle of the night, the dying echo of tortured screams floating on the night air. After reading freefalling, I find myself asking if I really know what true suffering is? I am in no way mitigating the trauma of rape and the ordeals of myself and tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of women, young girls and children; don’t get me wrong. But, I do have my life… my pain and suffering is mostly memories now. The girls who live on the streets? Pain and suffering is their life… it isn’t just a memory.
I have received no compensation for this review, nor do I know the author personally. My five-star rating is based solely on the merits of the book. Thank you. vmls)
“please dear God I ask of thee send four angels down to me one to watch and one to pray and two to carry my soul away”
With those spare words, thus begins a story that is both transformative and unforgiving.
Darlenne Susan Girard's freefalling is the heart-breakingly poignant, breathtaking and tragic story of a young girl's 'journey' from innocence lost at the tender age of 14, to her death two and a half years later... the victim of circumstance and the unbearably crushing weight of an all too often heartless and cruel world, filled with takers and users, to whom compassion and empathy are nothing more than words on paper… lofty ideals of a civilized society that these unfortunate souls… the streetwalkers… now live on the edge of. Although, perhaps ‘living’ is too polite a term.
I will try not to put too much of the story in my review, but this is probably a good place to caution the reader about spoilers.
Forced to leave by an impossible situation at home, the protagonist, 14 year old Melinda, finds herself on the 'mean streets', virtually penniless and with little more than the clothes on her back... and woefully unprepared to face a less than certain future. A future so bleak in fact that any Las Vegas bookmaker would give long odds indeed that Melinda would last a week, let alone 30 months in the unforgiving, harsh and at times utterly ruthless, world the young girl has 'tripped' into.
It is only her chance encounter with perhaps the one person in this new 'world' - Angel - who thinks of more than just herself, that Melinda finds a fighting chance. Angel takes Mouse, whom she has 'christened' Melinda as, under her wing, showing that even when life seems at its darkest, a candle of hope still flickers.
Will this unlikely friendship be enough to save Mouse? And what will happen when she discovers that the unthinkable has happened to her? What will she do… this once innocent girl who has yet to reach the age of 15? Who can Melinda turn to for the love and understanding, the guidance and wisdom she desperately needs? Is her fate now to be determined by the whims of a psychotic streetwalker, who is at times so immersed in her own pain and suffering that she cannot help anyone else?
As we soon find out, it is street justice and street wisdom that are the girls ‘guiding light’… their ‘beacons of survival’, if you will. And like countless thousands of girls before her, Melinda finds herself doing ‘whatever it takes’ to survive.
freefalling is probably the hardest book I have ever, or will ever, read. This is a testament to the incredibly powerful and moving writing of Ms. Girard and her keen insight into the human condition. I cried most of the way through this book and had to put it down several times... I simply could not go on, having become completely overwhelmed at the tragedy unfolding on the pages in front of me. Even now, it is hard to take my mind back to the story.
freefalling is written with such uncompromising clarity and brutal honesty that one wonders if it really is the product of a prolific imagination or is a story told so well and so real because the author lived it? It is truly the mark of a great story-teller who knows her craft, when readers ask such questions.
Melinda (Mouse) and Angela (Angel) are without a doubt two of the most unforgettable people I have ever read. The author had me craving a burger and fries more than once when I would read one of the diner scenes. Darlenne - may I call you Darlenne? Ms. Girard seems so formal - weaves a story rich in detail and filled with characters drawn with the creative brilliance of a master storyteller. I actually found myself shivering at times, when Darlenne would describe one of the countless street scenes with Mouse or Angel standing curbside in the rain or in whatever meager shelter the street offered… the wet and cold soaking through to the bone.
The author’s unique style… the pace and tempo of her writing… conveyed the pain and despair… the desperation and hopelessness of the girls all too well. As I said earlier… their pain was all too real as I struggled through the pages… palms sweaty and heartbeat racing as the brutal words of Darlenne’s narrative brought forth images of the street life these girls endured.
What kind of life is it… on your knees trying to coax a little life into some stranger’s flaccid flesh, just to earn enough money for a meal, maybe a bottle and some cigarets? Or, lying on your back on a filthy bed in a filthy hotel room… legs spread… dignity and hope only distant memories… as some poor bastard spills his seed… adding to the soil around you and reminding you of your own worth… barely less than zero.
A life where violence is the only ‘gratuity’ you will ever receive for services rendered. And even in that, there is a bitter irony.
Of all the men in this story, only one seems to engender any sympathy, and even Al has his own agenda… something a new girl on the streets, like Melinda, soon enough learns. Everyone has their own agenda… everyone looks out for number one.
The acerbic Carla is another character in the book, a ‘tough’ girl whose philosophy is ‘fuck or be fucked’ and who fails to see the irony of her own situation. Angel sees the irony of her life, yet is helpless to change it. And Mouse… poor little Mouse?
The power of Melinda’s own life was taken from her before she fully realized what she had. That is the real tragedy. That is a tragedy that happens every single day… everywhere. That is a tragedy that crashes through every social strata of every society
You and I have ‘avenues’… means of escape… when life around us gets ‘rough’, more importantly; we have support systems – family and friends – who care about us, and us about them. The girls on the street have neither. They can’t afford friends… friends will only disappoint them and hurt them.
For Angela, Mouse, Carla and the others… friends are a burden they cannot bear; the weight of reciprocity is too much. There is more than enough tragedy and despair in these young girls’ lives and a friend is only someone else they will use and then disappoint, in their own search to fill the void in their lives… a void that only one thing can fill, because they’ve given up on everything else.
Well, there are two things… but a quick death isn’t something anyone on the street seems to want. They prefer a slow, painful death; seeing it as a sort of redemption for what they’ve done… for what they’ve allowed themselves to become. These girls gave up long ago believing that it was anyone’s fault but their own for the bleak existence that they now endure. Some of them may still believe in love and even think they have found it… but in the end, they will only chase it away with a needle or a pill or a bottle. And sometimes… all three.
The girls exist on the streets… little more than a ‘fingerhut’ for some other tortured soul… as penance for something they did or something that happened to them. But, penance isn’t enough… without redemption, penance is an empty gesture. For these girls, the only redemption is the slow death of giving up their lives… piece by piece… everything human about them. These girls become little more than ‘the walking dead’, riding a freight train of drugs and alcohol that gains speed every day, until one day it takes a curve too fast. And in a heartbeat… the closing credits of a life they no longer recognize, flash before their eyes… then… silence.
Despite all the promises she makes to herself and all her good intentions, Melinda finds herself on that freight train. Yet one more tragedy in an already tragic life, only… she’s brought an unwitting passenger. Can Mouse get off of that train before it runs away… before its speed takes her around that curve… and all of her promises disappear… like tears in rain.
There is a passage from a song on one of my playlists that would run through head at times, while reading freefalling -
Still falling Breathless and on again Inside today Inside me today Around broken in two ~ Mazzy Star
I recommend freefalling without reservation. It isn’t pretty and it isn’t for the faint-hearted. And, unless your heart is carved from stone, you’re going to get angry… you’re going to cry... you’re going to be made uncomfortable. Good! And just maybe you’ll do something about that.
freefalling is uncompromising and unapologetic. Anything less almost seems dishonourable.
Thank you, Darlenne, for a story that is going to stay with me for a very, very long time.
What’s that you say? How does the story end? Well, I can’t tell you that; now can I? I will leave you with one final word –
Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw Cannon Beach, Oregon 2 September 2012
I first read Alas, Babylon in middle school. I enjoyed it then for the narrative style, not necessarily the subject matter. I liked Mr. Frank's portraI first read Alas, Babylon in middle school. I enjoyed it then for the narrative style, not necessarily the subject matter. I liked Mr. Frank's portrayal of the characters in a post-apocalyptic world. He made them 'real', something sadly lacking in a lot of fiction out on the market today.
Simply written, Alas, Babylon is nevertheless engaging and while nuclear annihilation is no longer likely, the subject of mankind's survival and adaptability in the aftermath of an armageddon is one that we should not dismiss as speculative.
I did note a few grammatical errors, surprising considering this was not an 'indie' effort, but went through the 'traditional editing and publishing channels.
Fifty-plus years later, Pat Frank's novel of the horrors of a Cold War come to fruition is still thought=provoking and sobering.
I would recommend this book.
Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw Cannon Beach, Oregon ...more
I enjoyed The Listener quite a bit more than I thought I would at first. While part of the story-line was fairly predictable, I was nonetheless caughtI enjoyed The Listener quite a bit more than I thought I would at first. While part of the story-line was fairly predictable, I was nonetheless caught off guard with the ending. Yes, I rather liked the ending. It left me with one of those 'oh!' moments when I read the last paragraph... I like that feeling!
The Listener is certainly deserving of a four star rating here. Shira Nayman has written, in her second novel, a most compelling story of human frailty. Her treatment of the main staff and patient characters was especially well done, and she adds a nice depth to the secondary characters as well.
In The Listener, the author uses a descriptive and compassionate narrative style that easily engenders empathy in the reader for the characters Shira has created. She deals with the subject of mental illness, both those being treated and the persons treating them, with an understanding and compassion that only one who has experience in the field can.
The author shows with a startling clarity that the casualties of war go far beyond those who served and their families. The consequences of war are not unlike the ripples in a pond when one drops a stone in its center... spreading out and touching everything and everyone in their path.
None of us are immune from the fragile nature of the human mind.
I would recommend The Listener without hesitation.
Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw Silverdale, Washington 22 June 2012...more