Happy Independence Day! Be safe, have fun, enjoy yourself.
This is a collection of novel excerpts, stories, and vignettes. They are well written, concise, austere, and filled with genuine emotion. Most are dark, some harrowing. All are evocative, with a feeling of authenticity. Writing with this much feeling suggests that the author based it on personal experience and close observation; it took more than imagination, reading books, and popular entertainment. I may be wrong, but I believe one must have been there to know this difficult territory. Extra credit due for being able to present the material from multiple points of view.The selection is varied, but deals with common, universal themes: love, survival, regret, loss, family dysfunction. Some pieces are fragmentary, others more fully developed. An abused wife rationalizes her victimhood and an abusing husband his behavior, a young man rescues his fiancée from a drug overdose, a mother is angry at her son’s late night behavior, a man looks back with regret upon his difficult childhood, a young woman blames her brother for not protecting her from sexual abuse, and so on.
One bright sketch in this dark collection is SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL, in which the protagonist runs to “him” with apparent reciprocated love. I interpreted the object of this interest as the process of writing itself; that is, writing these harrowing tales as an act of redemption and positive in outcome. (O. Barnack, Amazon Reviewer)