Reviews – another non resolution

One of the joys of absence from domesticity is the luxury of guilt-free reading.

I can usually persuade myself that most things are essential because they are linked to some task. Long walk to plot a chapter because Dog needs exercise. Stopping at a cafe for coffee and cake because it is important to support local businesses. But reading is not something I can easily combine with other tasks (not being an audio book sort of fella) so, now that I no longer commute, my reading time has to be shoehorned around many other tasks and fight for space alongside the writing itself and these blogs.

As the year turned over a new leaf I said to myself: read more. And specifically read more Indie authors. Which I have done.

This then is the first of an occasional series of reviews of books I have enjoyed.

cover of Lori's book

On Hearing of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened: A Daughter’s Memoire of Mental Illness by Lori Schafer.

It’s probably the longest title of any book I’ve read in a while. A mouthful. But that is the only thing I might change. The rest is completely compelling. We are taken on a journey through a series of episodes in Lori’s past that are both crisply painted and calmy observed while tearing at our hearts. The minute way in which she catalogues her mother’s descent into madness through the everyday and the mundane is chilling.

You cry out for a teacher or a social worker to intervene but no one believes this previously sane woman has morphed into a monster. Take ‘Bus Ride’. It seems like an exciting trip but increasingly the bizarre turns to the incomprehensible and then to the frightening before the inevitable pathos at the end.

I was completely engrossed. The epitome of a page turner and yet…. Boy is this a difficult read. In a way, of course, we know the ending from the title. We know some sort of freedom awaits. The tension arises from two places, for me. When will she be free? And what damage will this cause? Because surely, such events experienced at such a delicate and vulnerable stage of late adolescence must have an impact? You will have to read to find out.

The best, or worst, is saved for the last chapter: ‘Moments‘. The fact that what happens is described with such objectivity (I want to say ‘clinically’ but that suggests a coldness that is never present in her writing) says so much about the state of mind both of the Lori who experienced these events and her older self recounting them. It speaks mostly to her resilience. I won’t spoil it by saying anymore; you will not be disappointed.

Do read it. It will shock and amaze and, at the same time, give you hope that the indomitable qualities of the human as an animal means we are indeed hardwired to survive. Lori proves it in bucket loads.

Please check out her blog here (and her other writing)

You can buy it here from Amazon.uk; and here   from Amazon.com.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published three books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars and Salisbury Square. In addition I published an anthology of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand this summer. A fourth book will be out soon. This started life as a novel in a week on this blog and will follow later this year. I blog about all sorts at geofflepard.com and welcome all comments. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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12 Responses to Reviews – another non resolution

  1. willowdot21 says:

    The tittle is a book in itself!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Charli Mills says:

    Excellent review! I’m ready to read my copy soon!

    Liked by 2 people

    • TanGental says:

      Thanks. My first attempt and its a bit slack in fact. I left out Lori’s blurb which some reviewers include but Anne never does. I think I prefer her way of using her own words with the odd quote. I am trying to learn from tp the master (or should that be mistress? That sounds odd. Better than learning from the Madam I suppose)

      Liked by 3 people

      • Annecdotist says:

        I was going to say (and I still will) what a lovely review, which beautifully summarises your experience of reading Lori’s memoir. Then I came to read the comments to post mine, and had to laugh. Of course, you may have another Madam in mind, in which case I’d happily meet her, but if it’s me I’m highly honoured. Nothing left for you to learn, other than perhaps making more space in your busy life for reading.

        Liked by 3 people

      • TanGental says:

        Making time, yes that would be good. Thank you for the encouragement. It does need more work, though. Still I expect you tell yourself that too…

        Like

  3. rogershipp says:

    Sounds like a great read!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Norah says:

    Thanks for this review. Now that I have finished my delicious sherry trifle, I’ll be moving on to this one! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. lorilschafer says:

    Thank you so much for the lovely and thoughtful review, Geoff! As you know, I rarely have time to read all of your many posts – I have yet to even begin on Buster and Moo, which I’m really looking forward to – and if Norah hadn’t tweeted it for #MondayBlogs, I might have missed it! But thank you – I think it’s wonderfully well-written, personal yet also objective. I agree, also, that blurbs can be distracting in a review. Sometimes it’s nicer to use your own words, and you’ve done that beautifully 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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