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Still Waters

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  2,209 ratings  ·  187 reviews
Separated from her brother Bryan, and passed from caretaker to caretaker, Jenny discovers - as she rebels her way through high school and into adulthood - that the past can never be truly locked away forever. She survived the stunning traumas of a lost childhood, but survival may not be a way of life. Now the secrets, lies and loneliness that once imprisoned her are ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published February 6th 2003 by Time Warner Books UK (first published 2002)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,209 ratings  ·  187 reviews

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Jennifer Lauck
Mar 12, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  (Review from the author)
And now to Still Waters. This is the British edition but of course, there are American versions. Still Waters was, first and foremost, a rushed production. After the surprising and intense success of Blackbird, it was expected that I create a "satisfying" sequel NOW.

Being a hardworking, diligent sort (and a people pleaser), I went to work.

Still Waters rushed to press with typos and a even a misplaced chapter. Dreadful. And then it was released a month after 9-11. Another disaster.

I am one of
Oct 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir-biography
Interesting to read the other reviews. I actually liked Still Waters better than Blackbird. Both were very engaging and I read through them quickly. But the first book was more disturbing to me than the second. The first was so dark and tragic. Still Waters definitely had dark and tragics parts too but it also had a deeply reflective quality. Maybe because there is more satisfaction for the reader to see the author finally attain adulthood and some control over her life. I found her search for ...more
Mar 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
SO sad, I read her trio of biographical books in anticipation of meeting the author and hearing her speak on her life's awakening. This book {Blackbird} was my first by Jennifer Lauck and left me wanting more - which was immediately sated by her next book Still Waters, a less turbulent time in her life but still marred with her deep familial scars. Her last book , Show me the Way, was an ending of sorts, but I still have many questions. Jennifer's wilingness to open her soul to us amazes me; her ...more
Lisa Vegan
Aug 30, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoyed the author's first book Blackbird: A Childhood Lost and Found
Jennifer Laucks first book, Blackbird: A Childhood Lost and Found, was one of the most powerful books Ive ever read. So, at first, I remember being disappointed by this sequel because it just didnt live up to the first book. But, looking back, this is a worthy and enjoyable book in its own right. But, in my opinion, its imperative that Blackbird is read before this book. ...more
While this doesn't have the emotional power of her first memoir, Blackbird: A Childhood Lost and Found, it is still a riveting story about a truly messed-up childhood. I had to admire the author for her survival skills but something felt unfinished about her story--perhaps there was a lack of emotional distance. Although Lauck wrote this in her thirties, she seems stuck in her resentment toward the family members who she feels didn't love her enough (if at all). It's hard to tell if she's still ...more
Jun 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir
This is ostensibly a sequel to Lauck's Blackbird, although Lauck has written another book, Found that she calls "the real sequel", which I think is a bit off-putting. I mean, if people bought your book, isn't it kind of rude to write another book ten years later and say "Wait, never mind, THIS is the REAL sequel"? Anyway. I liked this book a bit better than I liked Blackbird, if only because I believed that she remembered things accurately, not something I believed of a 6-year-old narrator in ...more
Kira FlowerChild
This is the sequel to Blackbird: A Childhood Lost and Found, which I read immediately before this one. It tells the story of what happened once Jennifer was returned to her relatives and freed from the clutches of her evil stepmother, Deb.


Unfortunately her father's family is only marginally better than the evil Deb. Jennifer is constantly lied to, money from Social Security and other sources which her aunt and uncle, who adopt her, assure her is being put away for her
Susan Bazzett-Griffith
Nov 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Jennifer Lauck's follow-up memoir to Blackbird is equally as beautiful in its prose and heart-wrenching in its content. Orphaned and left to live with an indifferent at best, undeniably cruel at worst step-family, this is the story of Lauck's middle childhood and adolescence, where she is moved from the relatively warm and safe environment of her grandparents to an aunt and uncle who decide to adopt her, but never actually seem to love or accept her, and her tumultuous young adulthood which ...more
Sarah B.
Jun 14, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Interesting story but I didn't enjoy it as much as her first memoir, Blackbird. I read Blackbird several years ago and listened to Ms Lauck's interview on Oprah. At the time I was so excited to learn she was writing a sequel. Enjoyed the first part of Still Waters but it went on too long, too many details, covering too many years, including her adult life to the present. There is an entire section devoted to her brother Brian, which feels like a book within a book. At the end of book she goes ...more
Jan 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I devoured this book, just like the first memoir .... powerful, poignant. Some passages that truly resonated with me:

"There are no thoughts at all, just a black hole feeling pulling me down and down, away from Kimmy and normal and this life I've barely started...There's nothing but terrible emptiness that owns me."

"My life felt like a punishment but I couldn't figure out what it was I had done or how to atone."

"I hate the survival part of me. I don't want to power my way through this life
Mary Anne
Feb 16, 2014 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Lauck's very sad memoir, Blackbird, ended with what I thought was hope for a better future, so I decided to read the sequel, Still Waters. Well I was mistaken. Throughout the whole book she is struggling with her past and trying to find answers. Towards the end she seems to have adjusted and have a "normal" life. Although a depressing read, I admire her courage, resilience and her positive attitude. I give it 3.5 stars.
Jane Anne
Aug 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-books
I seldom if ever read memoirs but something about the story of Jennifer Lauck's life really touches me. The first, Blackbird, was a book which stayed with me long after I'd read it. I always meant to read book 2 and finally did so. In no way was I disappointed. A definite recommendation!
Aug 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs
I did read this book, although it had a different cover design when i read it. Anyways, it was a great book. I felt sorry for the girl and all the crap she had to go through in her life, like her aunt and uncle treating her like a slave. That was so wrong.
Zainab Shah
Emotionally wrecking, yet masterfully prosed!
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was another riveting read and a continuation of the haunting childhood memoir of Jennifer Lauck. It is a disturbing, emotional, and heart wrenching picture of loneliness and abuse that she suffered under a succession of people who didn't really love or care for her properly after her parents died. The author admits that she only gave this book two stars because she felt she rushed the writing of it because of her publisher's demands. Nine years later she wrote another; and, in her words, a ...more
Michelle Akers-dicken
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, non-fiction, memoir
Accidentally lucking into a copy of Blackbird, Jennifer Lauck's first story about her devastating childhood... AND the most powerful book of all time for me, I could absolutely NOT wait to read this one. Still Waters is the second part of her life. It's not nearly as powerful and I didn't expect it to be. I'd already read the author's own review of this book and I didn't get the impression she was very happy with the way her publishers rushed her to turn out another story. I was able to see ...more
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
There is some sort of torture that we cast upon ourselves when we are the soul survivor of our family of origin. We say why am I the only one left standing? Why did everyone leave me? Your angry, hurt, scared, well your abandoned. You question everyone, you question why, you search for answer's everywhere and with everyone who may know one little morsel of information that may comfort you or give you an clue or answer to why your the only one left. In the end its is useless. All you know is it ...more
Gloria Squitiro
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Jennifer Lauck is an incredibly gifted writer. She is brave enough to allow disarming thoughts to come to consciousness, writes about it, and as she heals, her words heal her readers.

This is one of my favorite lines in Still Waters, "When you talk about the thing no one talks about, everything changes. Aunt Peggy and and me are different now, like sisters, and in this new place, I tell her everything there is to tell, one
story flowing into the other." Because to me, this is the true meaning of
A Foster
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book read like a novel. Since it was given to me and I had not heard about it, that's what I thought it was. The story follows a young girl who endures the tragedy of losing her mother and then her father. So she is sent by her stepmom to live with her grandparents and the shuffling of her and her brother begins. It's quite a story, and once I realized it was her life story, and not fiction, it became even more interesting to follow her life. Very well done.
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
I would give 4 stars to the first half of the book, if I had stopped there. Now that I see the author's review I understand how I felt about the second half.
I have a weakness for what I call "Gritty Girl" characters. Their life sucks but they are happy anyway. They do exist. I thought that Jenny had a bit of gritty girl in her but then her poor attitude and coldness became tiring. I know this isn't fiction but I'm just saying...If the young Jenny is the subject of Blackbird I may like it.
Trisha Owens
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Clearly a difficult life for this struggling young lady, who has been passed from one "caretaker" after another. Jenny, was separated from her brother early in her life, and he was sent to a different, and unbeknownst to her, troubling life that results in tragedy. Meanwhile, Jenny must adapt and find her own way. In the end, she does, with her survival instincts, and peace is found at last.
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The sequel to Birdsong. Jennifer's story continues from age 12 through adulthood. When she is able to escape her adopted family and be on her own, she begins a journey to explore her childhood and come to terms with her family's death. True stories are always more powerful than fictional.
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So nice to have more of a conclusion to her first book, Blackbird. There were so many loose ends at the end of Blackbird that I was depressed I wouldnt know what happened to her and her family. This sequel is definitely worth the read! ...more
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wow! I really enjoyed this book. I picked it up at a book sale and glad I did. I will see if I can find another of her books.It is sad and dysfunctional at times in her story. I think every family has some distinction in their family. A must read.
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
After reading Blackbird, Still Water is not Quite as shocking. But Jennifer Lauck's nearly-unbelievable story continues through her teen years. Blackbird was horrifying, and Still Waters is heartbreaking.
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Second part of Jennifer Lauck's memoir...gut wrenching and heart breaking. She is a real survivor...thank god but why, why did she have to suffer so at the hands of so many who were "family"? amazing and so terrible.
Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Good book but my own mother wasn't much less of a taskmaster than her adopted mother.
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't want this one to end!
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Jennifer Lauck is the author of four memoirs, which include the international bestsellers Blackbird,Still Waters, Show Me the Way and soon to be released Found by Seal Press. A former newspaper reporter and television producer, Jennifer now lives in Portland, Oregon, with her two children

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“and then, it's just me alone in bed with a man who can sleep with his back to me while I cry silent tears tha make the pillow wet around my head.” 7 likes
“I've been the way he's being now, acting tough about things that really hurt me, and I can see right through to the truth. ” 4 likes
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