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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ghellow Road by T.H. Waters

Hi everyone!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
A quick reminder to all my readers that today is the LAST DAY to enter for your chance to win a copy of The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain!  For more information (like a review and how to enter), just check out the 'Current Contests' link in the right hand side bar.  Moving on....

For those that stopped by the blog yesterday, you already know that this week is all about memories and today's title features them in a rather unique way.  How so?  It blurs the line between reality and fiction leaving this insatiable reader to ask a question not often pondered when reading a "novel", but I'll get to that in a moment. Today's featured title is....

A Literary Diary of a Young Girl's Journey
T.H. Waters

From the publisher....

Based on a true story, Ghellow Road is a literary diary of a young girl's journey through the tangled labyrinth that is her life. Theresa's story begins in a large Midwestern city where she is born to loving parents in 1965. For a brief moment in time, her life is full, as is her heart, and the world is hers to receive without consequence. As time passes and Theresa grows, supernatural forces begin to shape her existence, no matter how carefully her father colors the empty spaces of her world. After a series of tragic events, Theresa and her family seek refuge in a small Minnesota town nestled near the shores of Rainy Lake. She creates a new life for herself there, sharing adventures with friends and riding the ups and downs of adolescence. Yet through it all, her mother remains forever lost in the prison of her own mind and forever lost to Theresa. The young girl feels as though she is leading a double life, one that no one else could possibly understand. She begins to peer at the world as if looking through a thick, black veil, never certain which pieces are illusion and which are not. Through the kindness and support of the townspeople, She eventually summons the strength to survive. This is a story of tragedy and triumph. This is the story of my life.

Though listed as a "novel", it reads true to life....prompting this reader to ask the question "was there truth mingled within the pages?".  Yes, I literally asked that of the author when she contacted me in regards to a review.  What can I say?  I was curious.  I mean the voice of the main character, though young was so strong.  The emotions coming off of her in waves from the troubles her mother was going through.  It was boggling her young mind and there was no sufficient answer to be handed back on a silver platter in order to placate the situation.  You felt for her, it couldn't be helped. 

So, in asking, I received an answer....a resounding YES (the fiction pieces are found in some of the connecting pieces of events that may have faded from memory over time...the rest, is pure life) a fact which not only confirmed the emotional tone but also pulled at your heartstrings.  These children, this child went through so much at such a young age.  When the only care in your world should be the fun and fantastical while mommy and daddy take care of the surrounding world, Theresa and her brother had to deal with losses unimaginable and life changing.  Losing one parent in death and another to their mind, they were shuttled back and forth between extended family, childcare homes, and friends houses until things came to a head and yet another piece of the family broke away. 

Though growing up in the same house and facing the severity of the situations side by side, each was affected in their own way.  Both were deeply hurt creating unwelcome scars and while they both ran when their limits had been reached, her brother ran the farthest and for good both physically and emotionally leaving her to handle the situation at home on her own.  But how can a mere child cope with a parent who is unaware of their own flights of fancy and extreme behaviour?  Even when revealed to extended family members, they were slow in responding with a change that would affect things permanently.  Luckily she was (is) strong and while things weren't ideal, she learned she could count on her friends as well as herself and in the end, that is what carried her to where she is today.

myspace layouts imagesThere is one brief passage I wanted to share with you from her early childhood days.  It's one of the times that their Grandma had taken her and her brother for a holiday excursion.  This trip saw them visiting a local auditorium for a special showing of Cinderella.  Now this wasn't an ordinary play, but a multi-stage show depicting the various key points of the story with little mechanical mannequins carrying out the characters roles.  The way the scene is described (the story itself) is a great example of the emotion of the story as well as the unexpected beauty that can be found in something that is familiar yet new.

Unfolding before us was the tale of a young girl hopelessly trapped by circumstance in a world that cared nothing for her song.  Aimlessly she drifted through a life full of thunder and shadows, fearing Sorrow would remain her master forever.  But somehow, by luck or by destiny, Fortune kissed her brow and led her to the one who could instinctively play all the chords of her heart. -- pg 87

In short, a moving story that will take your breath away not merely by the beauty found in the the strangest of places, but the events that transpired creating the remarkable person who penned this work.  Would I recommend this book?  Certainly....for mid to older teens through adults though due to content.  Life gets messy and this is a prime example, however it doesn't have to stay that way.  Things can change if only one has the fortitude to see it through; extend a hand of friendship and a hug of reassurance to someone that did.

Signed and personalized review copy courtesy of author T.H. Waters.  (THANKS!)  To find out more about this work of factual fiction, feel free to visit the publisher's site.  While you're there, take a few moments to peruse the chapter excerpts for a glimpse of the memorable story within, the other reader reviews and even an interview or two with the author herself.

Until next time....happy reading!


Felicity Grace Terry said...

Not too sure about this one - certain aspects of your review (a story with the power to take your breath away) make me think yeah whilst other aspects (the blurring of fact and fiction) have me wondering.

Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for a great, honest review.

Misha said...

I feel so sorry for Theresa and her brother, just by reading your review. It seems like a sad but a beautiful read. Thanks for the review!

Gina said...

Petty Witter: To be honest, the main reason I mentioned that fact (about the blurring) is so that the novel aspect of the book was explained....but to each their own. ^_^

Misha: Well said and right on the money.

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