Wisdom of MY Words

Random Musings & Book Reviews

20 January
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Stones (Data) by Jacob Whaler

I get numerous emails weekly asking me to read a book, and I used to download free Kindle books daily that I found on Twitter; so I’m not sure which of those things I did to find this book, but I’m glad I did. In Colorado, while skiing, teenager Matt Newmark finds a stone that changes his life when he is 22, after not letting him die at age 16. The year is after 2151, and people rarely go outside any more, there are Freedom Camps that want to rise against the establishment, Matt, a Japanese American and his girlfriend Jessica, who believes in Jesus, which is frowned upon in this decade. Then there is Kent Newmark, a lawyer who investigates corporate malfeasance, a Japanese history professor, a Shinto priest, and at the top of the food chain, a Polish Auschwitz survivor, Dr. Ryzaard, whose greed for power and control rivals Hitler’s. Ryzaard will do anything to get Matt’s newly acquired stone, even kill.

Descriptions were rich and layered, but my Kindle said it would take me 14 hours to read the book. I panicked! My Kindle is now two years old, and it readjusts based on my reading speed, but still, 14 hours? It readjusted at 12% to 8 hours and that’s pretty much, give or take, how it took me to read this 550 page book. I was intrigued! Stones (Data) had all the hallmarks of an amazing book: Love. Technology. Freedom. Power. Compliance. Individuality. Religion. Autonomy. Corruption. Control. Government. History. The Stones.

Stones,jpg

Besides the jax, and transports from DIA to Japan in six hours, it really didn’t seem like the future at all! Shinto gates every where. Japan in trade agreements with China and a hatred of America. The Bible out-dated. It could be a warped 2014! I liked the quotes from Art of War and the infusion of Japanese words. The level of corporate corruption was believable, but Ryzaard, well, I didn’t understand why he was so power-hungry. He wanted to make a world full of sheeple, which is exactly what Hitler wanted, and he had lived over 200 years and didn’t know that what he wanted was a bad idea. That seemed a little far-fetched. I had a hard time reconciling the fact that the SS killed his father, mother and sister; but Ryzaard was still OK with murder. He felt that murder benefitted him. He either was mentally ill or completely deluded. He was horrifically corrupt.

I also didn’t understand the shape of a woman and her saying We Are the Allehonen. Was Whaler implying that the shape of a woman means creation? I thought for all the time the book wasted on details that didn’t matter, they could have spent a little time on the Shinto priest explaining Allehonen better!

Kent is still grieving for his dead wife 12 years after the fact, which seems depressing and a bit unrealistic, he’s also a control freak about his son Matt. But Kent’s adventure cross-country from Colorado to New York City, traveling through the Freedom Camps, stealth and cloak modes for Matt’s and his jax, surveillance equipment and tricks of detection, and Kent unknowingly being followed by The Children. Unfortunately, while I lied Kent and all I got bored and started skipping all of his sections except for a cursory read to make sure I knew what was going on with his character. All of the elements built a marvelous plot that kept me steam-rolling through the book dying to know what happened next.

While it was an amazing book, my pet peeve was that the book was too voluminous! It was crazy long! This brilliant thriller was slowed down by descriptions, numerous POVs, and mundane scenes that were repetitive. Close tot he end of the book the plot soared! Unfortunately it happened so close to the denouement of the book that the reader couldn’t enjoy that great writing at the end!

Sadly the ending was ridiculous. Boring. Matt & Jess going of in to the figurative sunset, looking up at the starry sky and holding hands, kissing. They are together on Matt’s world. Ryzaard is alive, the Shinto priest is dead; and Matt will worry about Ryzaard destroying the world later. I would have preferred an analysis of what him and Jessica went through at the hands of the monomaniac and his minions.

@krautgrrl says that this a great book, suitable for 14 year olds and above. Don’t be bothered that you may skip a lot of pages, if it doesn’t hurt the plot for you, don’t worry about it. The book did get long, so it’s OK to stop, put it down and take a break, or skip pages. Enjoy! And look for me on the web and more of my reviews on Amazon.

15 January
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Berserk by Tim Lebbon

As a teen I loved these sorts of horror books, in the basement of used bookstores or in my mother’s bedroom, hidden from me with Harold Robbins and the frustrated woman porn books. The ones I liked for horror were Stephen King, John Saul, or Bentley Little.

I have no memory of any of them now, just bits and pieces that infiltrate my dreams. This is one of those books I would have found in a bookstore and snatched up because a) creepy cover, b) vampyres, and c) it’s British! On top of that, who the hell has heard of Tim Lebbon? Is that a nom de guerre? I had to do Lebbon and this scary ass girl on the cover a favor and buy the book. It cost one dollar plus tax for the paperback. Cheap!

I’m a horror book and movie aficionado. Now that I had cancer and can’t seem to do much, and network TV, as droll as it is, was off the air due the Christmas holidays, I read this book.

It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever read, but it’s also certainly not the best. The pub. The over-heard conversation about Steven. Steven’s parents go on holiday, to someone in England. They are from Wales. A mass grave is unearthed while Steven’s body is searched for, and a girl is found alive amongst all the dead. Obviously she’s a Vampyre. She doesn’t like that term. She calls herself a Berserker.

There are some nice, creepy moments, but overall I found it just to be an okay read. It’s very British on occasion, like when the farmer thinks that Cole is Bond! That was hysterical! I did really like the scene where Cole has the pseudo-hallucinations about the dead woman. That was very emotional and disturbing, yet also sexual. The descriptions were hot. Her black panties. Her white muscular thigh.

I liked Cole, but he needed more life flushed in to him. He was loads better than most bad guys who are doing good, but he needed to be three-dimensional, instead of just two, as he was like Flat Stanley.

That being said, I read the whole thing because I kept hoping I would catch a glimpse of the London or Wales I know and love. I kept reading even though I was bored, the writing a bit bland and very predictable, because I wanted some landmarks I knew to show up in the book. They didn’t, which I suppose ultimately made me sad. I did find it odd how much they were driving though. It seemed they were going to Cornwall and started in someplace like Wick and drove about 16 hours, which means they saw an awful lot of Scotland, but Lebbon never mentions Scotland at all.

@krautgrrl (on Twitter, and the web) says: it’s a fast enough read, so if you’re into this sort of thing, it’s worth a quick read.

21 October
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The Tale of Halcyon Crane by Wendy Webb

Besides the tedium of reading independently published books to see what the landscape is like, since I reside in the frozen hinterland of Minnesota, I also read MN-based authors to see the landscape. Webb is a MN-based author, so I picked up the book.

Hallie James/Halcyon Crane picks up and leaves Seattle/Puget Sound for Grand Manitou Island, an island much like any other island in the US situated in the waters of Lake Superior. Now, as a gal who grew up with Lake Michigan shimmering it’s grey-blue glassy water on an overcast day, viewed from her dormer window, I have never understood the fans of Lake Superior. That being said Crane is so grandiose and naive that her character became quite grating.

No one ever moves to an isolated small island town and is automatically befriended (except perhaps by a gentleman who wants to get in her knickers.) Moving to small isolated, inbred towns is what makes horror stories and movies great. It is also what creates despondency in new residents. They aren’t welcomed!

Minneapolis, that big city down from Duluth that can’t support a Neiman-Marcus, happens to be just as icy. If you are not an indigenous Minnesotan, you are not welcomed. Minnesotans go away for college and come back to their high school friends and extended family. New comers, even those of us who come here for University, are unwelcomed.

Crane believes she’s owed explanations from the residents of this insular island because she moved there after her father died, and after being notified that she was left millions and a gorgeous mansion by her renowned-photographer mother.

There are malevolent ghosts, there is a weird guy who runs the coffee shop, and a local lawyer, who is in charge of her mother’s estate. The attorney and Crane dine together, taking a carriage to dinner, since no cars are allowed on the island (oh! That sounds like Mackinac to me!) Then, suddenly they are in love!

Most of the Crane story is told by a witch, Iris, who had to be over 105 years old. I liked the book overall, I just thought there were major flaws in Crane’s personality. She just isn’t believable. My daughter went to Duluth for college last year and could not stop telling me how much she absolutely despised Duluth. The weather, the cold rude people, the complete abandonment of anything close to society, the abundance of snow and trees and nothing to do but drink because it was so bloody awful there. She’s a MN girl, my daughter, and she only made friends with people from St. Paul and some Twin Cities suburban kids, she made no friends from Duluth or other rural towns; she said they were all ass-backwards and closed down. That made me laugh, and made me pick up this book.

I honestly WANT to like Webb and her writing, but I can’t get there. We tweeted and she’s one of those women who thinks her perspective on everything, especially Minnesota, is right and there is no room for any one else’s opinion. Her tweet to me also said “casserole,” which is NOT a Minnesota word, these people call it a “hot dish.” The whole concept of hot dish has eluded me for years until I did some research.

The annoying book, “How to Talk Minnesotan,” states, “A traditional main course, hot dish is cooked and served hot in a single baking dish and commonly appears at family reunions and church suppers.” In short, a hot dish is a casserole, and the name is purely Minnesotan.

The origins of the casserole/hot dish are shady. Wikipedia says it evolved from budget farmers needing to feed their large Midwestern families. Another theory is that it originated from the Norwegian word “varmrett”, meaning “warm dish”. Both make sense, as there are both a lot of farmers and a lot of Norwegians in this region. In turn, casserole comes from the French word for “saucepan”, in reference to the baking dish.

Minnesota is mostly Scando, not much French, so as someone who is French (and a fluent speaker), I’m going with the whole Scando thing.

But, I digress. The Tale of Halcyon Crane was an easy read, but don’t be surprised if you find the book hard to swallow, like a starchy, tator-tot hot dish.

04 September
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A Game of Proof by Tim Vicary

This book is actually called, A Game of Proof (The Trials of Sarah Newby 1). I found this book on Twitter. There are some good Indie authors, and some not so good. Vicary falls in to the good category. Sarah Newby is an attorney in the British legal system, and she has worked hard to get that position. She had two children young, Simon, at only 16, and lived in awful counsel housing. When she finished her A-Levels, she realized she loved academia, and continued studying. She re-married and had a second child, but continued to go for a law degree. She wanted her children to grow up different from herself. Her Simon is my Simon. A red-haired little terror who ends up being charged with the rape and murder of his girlfriend Jasmine. After meeting with different counsel while on remand, Simon begs his mum to plead his case as his defense attorney. She reluctantly agrees.

Ironically, Sarah believes all those days studying where for the benefit of the children; but they don’t see it like that; they resent her for never being available, for always studying or working. Her husband Bob is also angry that she works so much. While her motives are pure, it’s understandable that her children are resentful.

The novel is fast-paced and Sarah’s perspective is interspersed with the omnipotent narrator who shows the Police aspect of cases, and their views of defense lawyers. When the jury leave, after Simon’s trial, for deliberation, everything hangs in the balance for Sarah as well as Simon. In tandem, a woman is killed and she says her killer stated he killed Simon’s girlfriend, but the Judge will not change the course of the trial. He wants the jury to come back. If Simon is found guilty, he would go to Prison for three or four years and then be able to able the murder conviction if someone else is caught, if he’s found not guilty, he can walk free.

The reader is on tenter hooks, looking in to Sarah’s head and hearing her believe the jury is against her and her son. The last 10% of the book cleans up everything that happened for the first 90% and it is well done.

This is a must read for people who like thrillers. But don’t be surprised that the British legal system is almost identical to America’s (albeit they wear wigs and robes!) It’s not mentioned, but of course the Brits don’t have the United States Constitution, so they can’t “Plead the Fifth,” or any of that sort of stuff that Americans can, as an FYI.

29 August
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The First Day of 8th Grade

This is how the past 24 hours have gone. Besides two small sojourns this summer; one for lax camp at University of St. Thomas and an AYM trip to the Dells my 13-year-old has been home, all summer. My 18-year-old daughter was home for a little over half of it and foul at that, until she realized it best to move on and out, which she did, with not much great aplomb. I have gone on several trips but most of my days have been consumed with feeding said teen boy.

This was a typical day: Wake up. Read. Remember that I should be writing that book. Write. Tweet. Read some more. Use a lot of toilet paper. Son wakes up at an ungodly hour after noon. Make him an appropriate breakfast, lunch or brunch meal. Clean up meal. Tweet. Read Twitter. Read Kindle. Ingest some pills. Nap (or just lay about in bed and read.) Get out of bed. Make my son another meal. Sometimes clean up all the way, sometimes half-way and sometimes not at all. Later, in the evening, realize, after more reading and most likely starting my second book for the day, that I should clean up, because now I have to cook ANOTHER meal.

Yesterday my son went back to school. They are out of uniform because it is “too hot for a uniform”? However, the kids are expected to wear appropriate attire. This is a Catholic School, so good-Sunday clothes, is what I think of. That means, no short-shorts, no short skirts, no lycra, no tank tops (or lax penneys), no BB shorts where your naughty bits sort of stick out of the fabric, so basically my son is stuck wearing something non-uniform that looks uniform, plaid or striped shorts and a cute polo. This is understandably WAY TOO HOT for school. He came home drenched yesterday after school. A sheen of sweat dribbling from his face. It’s summer. In Minnesota. Why should I sweat? We are close to Canada after all. The complaining about the clothes began. It didn’t end, except when he was plugged in to MineCraft.

An email was sent to parents from the Middle School Coordinator telling all us parents what a great job we did not dressing our kids inappropriately on the first day of school. We are parents for G-ds sake, we do know how to dress our children, thank you for noticing. While he was at school I finished all four of my remaining Game of Thrones. The Starks, the Lannisters, Oh my! Every time I watch something geeky like this I realize I really should nag the husband to go to ComiCon, but he thinks we’d be pronouncing our geekiness to the world. Well, yes, that is true, but isn’t that the point?!

After my son arrived home he watched the beginning of The Descent with me and I tweeted. Then I thought about high schools. Thinking about high schools made me think of Heike, so I Googled her and the bitch stole my husband’s ideas! Her blog, which she hasn’t touched in a year, is called “BecauseAnneSaidSo,” which is pretty damn close to what the husband used to name her computer directories, “BecauseHeikeSaidSo.” One idea stolen. I read a blog post. A van down by the river? The husband says that ALL THE TIME. We used to compare their house to a van down by the river owned by her husband (which she says!) and then she mentions a missing kidney, which was a constant refrain when Simon was in high school because of Charlie and Candy Mountain. Now Charlie is 22, or 23, and has a kid, out in California.

By this time it was time for me to make my teenager another meal. The first one was chicken wings with homemade honey mustard dipping sauce. The second was grilled cheese. I have yet this morning to go round-up plates from his sister’s old bedroom and his room and start dishwashers and, most likely, the washer. You might ask why I am not working? I’m writing a book! Don’t you read?

So after my visible agitation that Heike stole my husband’s ideas and he should sue her, said in jest, of course, I had to debate with my son what to wear today. He wanted to wear poly basketball shorts. I said No. About 10 times. I said No because his junk sticks out and that would not be good-Sunday clothes. I convinced him to wear a different pair of striped shorts and his pink polo. There was a 15-minute debate last night about the polo being too hot, and 95F with a dew-point of 74% is hot, and somehow a lax tee would be less hot, but not good-Sunday, which I suppose is arbitrary, but still, I’m the parent.

This morning he was wearing the pink polo and he looked so preppy and cute, I wanted to eat him up. He was slow. I said, Come on Whitney, it’s time to fly! He responded with something else, and I sadly have to admit that my son doesn’t know who Whitney Houston was, but he knows the Beatles. Riddle me that! I certainly hope we get another cheery email that tells us what a great job we are doing dressing our children in non-hoodlum or slut wear today.

The highlight of my day is the fact that Douglas Wickard’s new book, A Perfect Setup. Thank G-d for Twitter.

28 August
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Fifty Shades Freed by E. L. James

I seem to be using the word redundant a lot in my reviews of this trilogy, I am also sick of hearing everyone yammer on in the reviews that this is a rip-off of Twilight, this is a massive rip-off of the film, The Secretary with James Spader (who was named Mr. Grey), from 2002; taken from the original story from Mary Gaitskill. This book took me the longest to read, it’s almost 500 pages long, I ran through it in under eight hours; including breaks. I stayed with it to see if a plot would develop and one did. Finally, [SPOILER] a kidnapping and if you’re a woman you knew Ana was pregnant WAY before she did. Ana’s well-read naivete is still impressive in this book, “Why shouldn’t I pee?” Well, duh.

Everything gets sorted in this book. Then you get a nicely tacked on Hollywood-ending where the Grey’s live happily ever after, and there are even more Grey’s now since Ana has a child and her best-friend Kate marries Christian’s brother and they have a kid.

If you are book addict, as I am, then read it for the plot, but skip over the boring panting, sex and chronic orgasms, unless you like that kind of thing.

28 August
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Fifty Shades Darker by E. L. James

To quote one reviewer: “It’s like literary crack. You know it’s bad for you, and you feel dirty and low for enjoying it, but you can’t stop.” Spot on says @krautgrrl. There was more plot to this book than book one, and by plot I mean more real writing and less sex, but there is still a lot sex, and with this much sex; well, one becomes immune. It’s like consistent expletive usage, it gets old fast. But ever the reader to finish a book and hope Ana or Christian die, or get kidnapped, or something so all the sex will just end, we get a confrontation with Christian’s first dom, who “corrected” him.

Ana and Christian are in love, or lust, and while she doesn’t want to be hurt by his whips and canes and hiking equipment, she is still drawn to the Red Room of Pain.

IMO, we’re pretty tame on the whole erotica theme, mostly because there is all that blushing and flushing and grimacing and lip pulling, and spanking. I’m guessing I wasn’t supposed dwell on the issue that they seem to have a lot of time for sex when they both work. As in my first review, the redundancy is what makes the book unbearable. This book took me less time to read because I paged forward past a lot of the sex. Been there, done that, I’m married!

In this book we get our prior repetition from book one, plus Ana constantly calling Christian, “my fifty,” in her head every other page (or so it seems.)

Where oh where was the DE on this project? Or was said DE just so amazed by handcuffs and butt plugs that he or she over-looked the fact that the plot compromises about forty-nine pages?

Read if you’re intrigued by sex that isn’t missionary all the time, otherwise just read the plot bits. The aging dom debacle is well-done!

PS: A DE is a Developmental Editor who usually takes the first look at your book before it gets shuttled off to editing.

27 August
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Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James

Four days of my life I am never getting back for reading this entire trilogy. My friends have been ranting about it, Twitter has been going gang-buster about the movie it will be, and my mum said it was pornographic. I stayed away, even though the New York Times Bestseller list always intrigues me. After going out drinking with @derkrautboy and friends, the female told me I “had to read Fifty Shades of Grey.” Husband downloaded it off his Amazon site and the trilogy arrived in my Kindle as I was finishing up a Jo Nesbo book (who is an amazing author, and good-looking too!)

About mid-way through the book, I did a double-take, just a second here my CPU brain said, this is an elongated version of the film, The Secretary, from 2002, which stars James Spader, whose name JUST HAPPENS TO BE Mr. Grey! Just like Stephanie Meyer stole major portions of the Twilight series from Buffy, James stole her idea from Mary Gaitskill’s short story, which The Secretary is based off of.

What virgin in her right might throws her virginity away to a 26 year old billionaire who makes her sign an NDA and wants her to be his submissive? Ana’s naivete is appalling and gets old fast. The sex scenes aren’t terrible in book one, but the redundancy is obvious when you move through all three books in a row.

Christian Grey is super hot, always amazing to look at; and I wanted to scream after the 50th “baby” was whispered, yelled, typed in an email, well, you get the picture. I remember 26 year olds, and they did not always get erections from just a kiss, or a look, or a squeeze. Grey seems to have a permanent horn! I was shocked that the book was based in Seattle because of all the Britishisms I read, I’ve lived in the UK so I have a few of my own, but regardless of her English language prowess, Ana had never travelled abroad and therefore would not end up with the vocabulary she uses consistently.

Then there’s the massive amount of redundancy; besides Christian’s permanent horn. Ana is always wet and ready, the sex scenes are pretty darn tame for erotica and between her inner goddess and said goddesses chaise lounge and her prim subconscious, Grey and Steele are always flushing and blushing and gazing wantonly at one another, as well as Christian constantly being mercurial.

Is it too much to ask for a plot? Oh, there is one; an entire sub-plot where Christian was brought into the BDSM LifeStyle by his mother’s friend! The sub-plot gets good in book two, btw, but the redundancy may kill you.

I found the writing actually pretty well-done, considering I read a lot. If you are easily titillated and bored with your own sex-life give it a whirl.

27 August
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Surviving the Fall by William R. Potter

I found Potter on Twitter. As a published author, ex-Professor and long-time reader of many genres I had trouble with Potter’s work. This book is technically three stories. One about a guy who takes in a 14-year-old prostitute. That is the longest story and is just unbelievable. What rational 26-year-old man would take in a 14-year-old girl? I understand his loss and confusion over losing his wife, but the story just screams stupidity. After taking care of the teenager for a few days, her past catches up to them and he is held by the Police. Then the story ends abruptly.

The second story is about a painter who has a three-year old son and his wife is in hospital. His parents’ are racists, and his father dies while he is on the phone with his mother. There is less of a plot in this story, and way more telling then showing.

The final story is about a man who won the lottery and his three friends who have bonded since Junior High. The lotto man’s son and his friend’s children are stolen by “Eastern Europeans” and they don’t call the Police; instead they call the other two friends and go all Rambo on the kidnappers. Again, shorter, more telling then showing with a nice pat ending where the kids are just fine.

The book isn’t horrible, but it is just not believable!

27 August
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Unheard Cries by Joyce Mitchell

I found this book on Twitter. As a published author, adjunct Professor and editor I feel this compulsive need to torture myself and finish books to give a good review. I read a lot, between research for my own books to leisure reading of fiction and nonfiction (usually not Indie published authors, but lately I have felt the need to read what’s going through KDP since I just published with them this summer, after years of thinking Indie publishing was a bad idea) I read anywhere between 2-10 books per week and have since I was a child.

While this author’s bio may make her seem like she’s some great author, the book is poorly written with grammatical errors, typos, a lot of telling not showing, a scattered plot line, etc. The author is approximately my mother’s own age, so I do know a thing or two about the time frames she writes about, which are the 1930s-1980s. The book reads like someone’s geriatric grandmother is telling stories and the illiterate note-taker of grandma’s stories is jotting everything down for publication. I have some examples.

Emma, the main female protagonist, is drawn in by Aaron, the main male protagonist. Emma is part Cherokee. When Emma has her and Aaron’s first child, Judy Ann, the author brings up AGAIN, Emma’s Cherokee blood. This would be a great opportunity to explain to the audience what it was like growing up as a half-breed in the South during the 1930s-1940s.

At 39% a woman named Odessa comes to visit Emma. Odessa drives up out of the blue, she’s never been introduced in to the book, and she just shows up to gossip with Emma. We never see or hear from Odessa again. Her visit is not explained, except as a means for gossip about Aaron to reach Emma. Situations like this happen all the time. We know Aaron’s father, Harvey, has a bad heart, but Harvey just disappears from the book. As the reader you wonder if he is now dead. Aaron’s mother still plays a prominent role, but her husband has completely disappeared. It’s perplexing for the reader.

At 41% it is now 1948 and Emma has her third child. The author states: “…Emma and Aaron’s mother Bessie got in the ambulance…” Bessie is Aaron’s mother and Emma’s mother-in-law. If you’re paying attention, you begin to wonder what happened to Beulah, Emma’s mother. The next page tells the reader that Emma’s fourth child is now born. What year is it? A half page ago it was 1948, now it’s what? 1949? 1950? There is absolutely no time continuity. You have no idea what year it is and what in the heck is going on. Another example for confusion is this same area of 41-42%. After the fourth child is born, Judy [Ann] is taken to the river by her father, Aaron. She is frightened by a “Georgia bobcat.” A paragraph later, we read that Aaron took an instrument in to the water and fish started to float on top. Where did the bobcat go? Who knows! It was never mentioned again.

Mentioning something, for example, the KKK, out in the country-side and then not talking about it, is a prime example of what this book brings to the table besides rampant drunkenness, laziness, enablement, physical abuse, and much more.

At 44% we are now told it’s 1954. That’s two pages after it was 1948. A page after it is 1954, Emma is thinking, “But she was tired, and age was catching up with her.” Emma, in 1954, must be about 28-30 years old. She’s hardly old, even by 1950s standards. On the next page Emma is hit by Aaron because she notices a 1954 Chevy on the road and we find out that Aaron has told her she cannot look or speak to her parents. All this time, I’ve been wondering what happened to Emma’s mother and father, and at 45% we’re just told she can’t talk to them. This would have been a great place to show some plot demonstration, but Mitchell doesn’t have the first clue how to demonstrate plot, so again we are left lost.

Moving forward to 55%, Emma gets an old friend to taker her and the kids to her parents house. She tells them she’s staying. Mitchell writes: “Yes, we’re staying.” she said. “This is our home.” And so they stayed.” They did not stay and Emma went back to Aaron. But what is bad about this, is that there are plenty of times where Mitchell could elaborate, demonstrate mixed feelings, the relationship between Emma and her parents, anything at all; but she doesn’t. This is precisely one of those points in the book.

Aaron is banned from Troup County, GA at 74%. There might be a respite for Emma and her kids now. Mitchell has stated that YEARS HAVE GONE BY, but at 75% we find that it is only 1955. 30% movement in the book, so much has happened to Emma and her children, but we’ve only moved forward in time one year! Aaron has moved to Mobile, AL and it is said that it smells like the Ocean. This would be a great opportunity to SHOW people where Mobile is, at the top of Mobile Bay, an inlet off the Gulf of Mexico.

At 77% Emma starts dating a soldier from Fort Benning and the reader finds out her and Aaron are divorced. She marries the soldier, who is married to another woman, and has a baby; long after he is taken away by the Military Police. We have no idea what year it is, there is no story behind Emma and Aaron getting divorced, no explanation of much at all. At 79% we find it is only Winter 1958. At 82% Emma states that her parents were good providers but that they were living in hard times. A lot of people don’t know, and were not affected by the small recession that hit the US in 1957-58, it certainly wasn’t as bad as the 1930s when Emma was a child. But Mitchell could have explained that the US hit a recession and affected the price of things during that time period. Most people did not lose their jobs, so it really wasn’t something that was documented all that much.

At 85% Mitchell writes, “Many years passed, some of them happy and some of them just-so. The 1960s came…” Well, for crying out loud, it’s about time! I believe Mitchell has no concept of what the word MANY means…

Aaron, ~50 years old, falls in love at 95%, with a 27-year-old. He calls his daughter Judy and she gets his divorce papers. However, she states that his divorce papers say that he “…has no right to remarry.” I’ve never heard of such a thing, and believe that Mitchell could have explained this odd legal scenario.

I feel like four hours of my life was sucked from me by reading this absolute piece of garbage. Do not read this book, it is poorly written and a grave disappointment. It’s a sad state of affairs that everyone thinks they are a writer when they have no training, no experience, have never been critiqued, and can’t even hire an editor to clean up their hodge podge work and still get published! It’s frankly disgusting. Author bios can be a boatlaod of lies and no one points it out. Well, I am!

C. S. Lantz stated on my Amazon review this: “This review says exactly what I was thinking, but is better documented. I didn’t take notes as I went along, but like the reviewer above, I feel compelled to finish a book and give it every chance to become something. This one did not become anything other than a disappointment and I too felt it was a major waste of my time. I am an avid reader and enjoy reading different types of stories. I read this in hopes of seeing an inside view of how a woman stays in an abusive marriage. But it wandered around, there was no involvement in the story, and the author just dropped things onto the page without explanation or reason, and went blithely on, leaving me constantly wondering what was the point of that item ? There seems to be a story in mind, or an idea, but it is not written in a way to make the reader see or feel what is going on. It is merely described, and poorly at that, in a disjointed way that left me feeling frustrated. I’ve read many books, and some are not too good, but this is truly one of the worst. I have never left a review of any kind, and I truly did keep reading hoping this story would have some redeeming value, but it does not. I’m sorry. I have to say this is not worth your time.”