Blackbird: A Childhood Lost and Found
AbeBooks Mitglied seit 1996
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AbeBooks Mitglied seit 1996
Titel: Blackbird: A Childhood Lost and Found
Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Dust Jacket Included
Auflage: 1st Edition
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With the startling emotional immediacy of a fractured family photo album, Jennifer Lauck's incandescent memoir is the story of an ordinary girl growing up at the turn of the 1970s and the truly extraordinary circumstances of a childhood lost. Wrenching and unforgettable, Blackbird will carry your heart away. The house on Mary Street was home to Jennifer; her older brother B.J.; their hardworking father, who smelled like aftershave and read her Snow White; and their mother, who called her little daughter Sunshine and embraced Jackie Kennedy's sense of style. Through a child's eyes, the skies of Carson City were forever blue, and life was perfect -- a world of Barbies, Bewitched, and the Beatles. Even her mother's pain from her mysterious illness could be patted away with hairspray, powder, and a kiss on the cheek....But soon, everything Jennifer has come to love and rely on begins to crumble, sending her on a roller coaster of loss and loneliness. In a world unhinged by tragedy, where beautiful mothers die and families are warped by more than they can bear, a young girl must transcend a landscape of pain and mistreatment to discover her richest resource: her own unshakable will to survive.Review:
Jennifer Lauck conveys the perceptions, thoughts, and emotions of a frightened child with utter conviction and vivid immediacy in her remarkable memoir of the six years during which both of her parents died. Lauck opens in 1969, when she is 5 and her 31-year-old mother is entering the final phase of a decade of severe health problems. Momma is beautiful and loving; we feel the tender intimacy between mother and daughter, even as we see that Jennifer has assumed a lot of adult responsibilities that make her fearful and obsessed with rules. Eight-year-old brother Bryan responds to Momma's illnesses with anger, and is often cruel to his sister. High-powered, workaholic Daddy does his best, but is not around a lot. (The adult author subtly depicts the kids' half-conscious understanding that Daddy is seeing other women.) As Momma's health worsens and the family moves to Southern California to be near a better hospital, Lauck captures in painful detail the atmosphere of physical decay that surrounds a mortally ill woman. Momma dies on Bryan's 10th birthday. In short order, Daddy has moved them all in with Deb, who obviously has been his girlfriend for a while, and events spiral down from there. Daddy dies of a heart attack before Jennifer turns 10; Deb keeps the stepchildren (whom she dislikes) so that she can get their social security allotment; Jennifer is sent out to work at a residence that is run by Deb's creepy Freedom Community Church. She is 11 by the time that her aunt and uncle rescue her--a moment that is nearly as exultant for readers as it is for the girl whose trials they have shared for nearly 400 pages. Her harrowing story might sound unrelievedly grim in the retelling, but Lauck's lack of self-pity and the delicacy of her prose transform it into an odyssey of endurance and transcendence. --Wendy Smith
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