Book Review: Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed

Book Review: Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed (2018) (Middle Grade) (Fiction) 5 Stars *****

Twelve-year-old Amal is the oldest daughter in a modern day Pakistani family. After her mother takes to her bed after a difficult childbirth, Amal’s father deems it necessary for Amal to assume her filial resposibility to quit school and care for her mother and siblings. “I’m sorry, Amal. But this is how it has to be now. You’re the eldest daughter. Your place is here. …You can read and write. What more do you need to know?” Being a lover of books and education, Amal is heartbroken and questions the traditions that have put her in this much dreaded position. Unfortunately for Amal, her situation suddenly gets worse when she is ripped from her loving family after an outburst of temper and defiance to the wrong person. This is a story highlighting limited or no education for girls and crushing indentured servitude for a people with few resources and little strength to stand up for themselves.

Amal works hard but her mind is in rebellion. “No, it’s not fair. But that’s life.” ‘There it was yet again, my father’s words: Life isn’t fair. Maybe it was true, but why was that a reason to just accept everything and go along with it? I hoped the rumor about the girl turning down Jawad Sahid was true. I hoped there really was someone out there who had the courage to stand up to him and say no.”

In her new home, Amal becomes the personal servant of the kindly mother of the powerful and much feared Jawad Sahib. Amal manages to endear herself to this woman of humble beginnings and finds herself in a position of some influence. Amal sets her mind to make the most of a heartbreaking situation, “None of this is easy, I wanted to tell her. My new life was simply about making choices, none of which I actually wished to make.” In the end, Amal makes a decision to take action that adults were afraid to do, changing the future for herself, her beloved family, and the community in which she lives.

Simply written with short sentences, this book is appropriate for readers as young as third grade. The situations described make the point, but are not scary or inappropriate for young children. Amal can serve as a role model for girls struggling to make a better place for themselves, and also enlightenment for boys’ awareness of the traditional societal limitations placed on those born female, through no fault of their own.

Please let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at elainewrites@earthlink.net

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live your truth, in harmony with people, nature and the environment. May you be a force for good and a source of love and comfort. May the world be a better place for you having lived and loved here.

All rights reserved 2020

Book Review: Luster by Raven Leilani

Book Review: Luster by Raven Leilani (2020) (Psychological Fiction)  3 Stars ***

We meet messed up, careless Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York resident Edie. All of Edie’s one-night-stands end in disaster. “I have not had much success with men. This is not a statement of self-pity. This is just a statement of the facts. Here’s a fact: I have great breasts, which have warped my spine. More facts: My salary is very low. I have trouble making friends, and men lose interest in me when I talk. It always goes well initially, but then I talk too explicitly about my ovarian torsion or my rent.”

Twenty-something Edie barely works at her job as managing editorial coordinator for a publishing company’s children’s imprint. Known as the office slut, Edie never practices impulse control, but her need to be validated, seen, and held in high esteem by someone, anyone actually, drives her conduct right into the trash bin. Her newest affair with a boring co-worker Eric leads Edie into another dimension. Having gone too far with her ladies’ room, men’s room, under the desk, in the elevator office romps, HR has had enough sexual harrassment complaints against Edie and witness complaints against her debauchery, and fires her forthwith.

Edie uses her blackness as an excuse for her failures and disappointments. When a new, very attractive, appropriately dressed also black employee usurps Edie’s position, Edie resents her for her willingness to work hard and to conduct herself with dignity. “You think because you slack and express no impulse control that you’re like black power. Sticking it to the white man or whatever.” Edie starts to wonder if she’s actually the one to blame for her problems.

Edie looks to Eric for consolation. Twenty-three years Edie’s senior, she is surprised this white man finds anything appealing in her. Aloof and elusive, married, living in suburban New Jersey with his wife and adopted black daughter, Eric is anything but available. Fate intervenes as Edie becomes friends with Eric’s wife who then invites the out of work, out of food, out of luck Edie to live in their house. Edie witnesses the dysfunction of the family and the coldness of the marriage. In time, she ignites an affair with Eric, an interdependent friendship with Eric’s wife, and a mentorship for being black for Eric’s young daughter.

When Edie’s unprotected sexual activity results in an expected situation, it is Eric’s wife who saves Edie during a very rough time. The bond between the women is strengthened. It is Edie who manages to have a relationship with Eric, his wife, and his daughter although these three cannot seem to have a loving relationship with one another within the nuclear family.

The story suddenly stops, leaving the reader wondering as to what will happen next. Will the saga continue in a sequel? Or, will readers be left without a resolution while only imagining which path Edie’s future will take?

Often hard to read, the author uses stream of consciousness without quotation marks to attribute dialogue. Insight into the main character’s thoughts and motives demonstrates the close relationship between the author and this character she has created. The author understands Edie very well and actions are always true to Edie’s nature.

I need to say the writing is on a higher level than the plot. The story line is improbable. One of my college professors used to say, “If the rocks in your head fit the holes in someone else’s, that’s all you need.” Maybe that’s what’s happening here?

Please let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at elainewrites@earthlink.net

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live your truth, in harmony with people, nature and the environment. May you be a force for good and a source of love and comfort. May the world be a better place for you having lived and loved here.

All rights reserved 2020

 

 

Book Review: The City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

Book Review: City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert (Fiction) (Historical Fiction) (2019) Four Stars ****

Set during the WWII era of the 1940’s, shallow, self-absorbed twenty-year-old Vivian Morris finds herself tossed out of Vassar College for unbelievably poor academic performance. Lacking any guilt or sense of responsibility for her situation, Vivian’s no-nonsense, aloof, affluent parents, lose patience with their daughter’s lack of professional or matrimonial prospects, and send her off to spend the summer with Aunt Peg, free spirited, unconventional New York City small theater owner. Vivian is thrilled. Her goal? To have sex. Her life? To keep having even more sex. Her regret at the end of her life? That she should have and could have had even more sex.
Vivian forms friendships with showgirls who introduce her to the joys of one night stands with men they frequently pick up in bars. Having achieved her goal of sex, sex, sex, Vivian opts to remain in New York City, relying on her latent talent as a seamstress to become a costume maker for the theater, drawing a meager salary and justifying her presence in her aunt’s world.
Vivian’s idyllic existence comes crashing down after an ill-advised sexual liaison captured with photos by the irascible gossip columnist Walter Winchell. With the help of Vivian’s brother and his navy friend Frank, Vivian flees New York City for the anonymity of her parents’ home in upstate New York where she works in the office of her father’s mining company, gets engaged, becomes unengaged, then returns to the theater to help Aunt Peg with a war industry entertainment assignment. Vivian slowly discovers there are people in the world who do not belong to her world.
Vivian reconnects with an unlikely person from her past. This platonic liaison becomes the deepest, most satisfying relationship of her life. Vivian learns to accept herself with her faults, views others in the same way, and encourages her dear friend to see the truth of this belief.
Vivian now sees herself as a person of value, capable of love and loyalty. Despite this great self-acknowledgment, the story ends with Vivian’s regret of not having had more sex. The author believes this is not indicative of any negative aspect in Vivian’s personality. It simply is.
I totally enjoyed reading this book and was captivated by the story despite the lack of character and plot depth. The author offers insight into personality types which may be different from our own or what we are comfortable accepting. Some people just are not straight (straight meaning perfect, direct, unflawed). Get over it.

Please let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at elainewrites@earthlink.net

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live your truth, in harmony with people, nature and the environment. May you be a force for good and a source of love and comfort. May the world be a better place for you having lived and loved here.

All rights reserved 2020

Book Review: The Girl From Widow Hills by Megan Miranda

Book Review: The Girl From Widow Hills by Megan Miranda (Psychological Thriller) (2020) 3 Stars ***

Six-year-old sleepwalker Arden Maynard is thankfully rescued from an underground storm drain three days after being swept away during a violent rain storm. Well, anyway, that’s how the story goes. Arden becomes the unrelenting focus of national attention leading to a name change and a move to a new town for the now adult girl from Widow Hills. At twenty-six-years old, Arden is now known as Olivia and goes to great lengths to hide her celebrity. Unfortunately for Olivia, a media circus ensues at the twentieth anniversary of Olivia’s ordeal and rescue. Her cover is blown. Strange things happen: People from the past appear and disappear, bodies are discovered. Who is responsible? Could it be the nightmare-plagued Olivia herself?
Olivia is not a reliable narrator. Incomplete memories and facts often conflict. Her troubled sleep and paranoia suggests psychological stresses not associated with the experience. Lacking deep familial and social relationships, Olivia does not know whom to trust. A newly found box of memorabilia from Olivia’s mother triggers a chain of events, flashbacks, and possible clues. Someone in Olivia’s inner circle is a predator.
Olivia is screwed up. Her memories are disjointed. She can’t distinguish reality from her night terrors. Her time frame is off. Olivia cannot remember much of what was told to her to be the truth of her experience. Why can’t she fill in the blanks?
The author does not give enough clues to support the ending. Specific important events and people are presented in the same tone of voice as a weather report. This story needs more suspense, more excitement. The premise is more exciting than the execution. Instead of being sympathetic to Olivia during her travails, I found myself losing patience. Maybe this is the result of poor editing, rather than poor writing?
The first third of the book was s-l-o-w and rambling. It got better, but that’s not saying much. I kept reading because I wanted to know the big secret of the story so I decided not to skip to the last three chapters as I usually do when I’m bored and can’t  wait to get to the end.
But, still, it’s a popular book. Who knows? You might like it, especially if you like being inside a confused person’s head.

Please let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at elainewrites@earthlink.net

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live your truth, in harmony with people, nature and the environment. May you be a force for good and a source of love and comfort. May the world be a better place for you having lived and loved here.

All rights reserved 2020

Book Review: Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

Book Review: Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner (2019) (Fiction)
3 Stars ***

This is one of the most difficult books I’ve ever read and/or reviewed. Maybe it’s a generational thing, or a life-style choice thing, but this is one depressing book. No one is happy for more than five minutes. We follow this multi-generational saga from the 1950s to 2022. The story is told in alternating chapters from the points of view of sisters Jo and Bethie, who should act like two nice Jewish girls in the Detroit of their era. Instead, we’ve got two miserable, entitled brats, who rebel against everything and everyone, trying to find personal fulfillment. Uhmm, good luck with that one. Chaos theory at work here.

The girls battle with their mother, each other, and their roles in society. Being a traditional wife and mother is a sentence into oblivion and life imprisonment. They each experiment with a number of crazy, self-destructive behaviors they can find: same sex relationships, hallucinogenic drugs, sexual promiscuity, lack of commitment to education and steady employment, backpacking around the world, bartering sexual favors for food and money, leaning on other people to supply their basic necessities, living in all female communes, hanging with the worst possible in-your-face-loser-men, becoming complicit victims of sexual exploitation, making relationship choices that invite friction for a lifetime, yada, yada, yada.

Needless to say, nothing works in their favor until near the very end when things look rosy., however short-lived. By the way, you’d be surprised at how easy it is to amass a fortune when allowed to follow one’s dream. Hmmm.

The book is boring. You can’t imagine how many recipes and dinner menus we are subjected to. Oh, and let’s not forget the explicit sex scenes between Jo and her lovers. Very surprising since this is not a book of erotica or a how-to book on sexual arousal for women. Or is it?  Who cares? At about 18% into my Kindle edition, I already looked to see how much of the book was left to read. That’s how tedious this experience was for me.

The author’s message? Marriage and children can never bring fulfillment. Significance of title? Mrs. Everything = Misses Everything. This means the traditional roles of wife and mother insure that women will miss out on personal fulfillment, will be unable to travel freely, will be relegated to serving food and drink to their husbands and children, and must speak and act as expected rather than how they truly feel. There’s no room for discussion here: This choice can only bring misery. If the role of homemaker appeals to you, then you are brainwashed by societal and familial expectations. You’re not happy. You only think you are.

So depressing. In a million years, I would not want to be any of these women or call one of them a friend. They’re miserable, calculating, and strategic. No spontaneity here. They’re only kind if you agree to do it their way. If you embrace the idea of life as a merry-go-round, adding and discarding people until you find the one that will solve all your problems and make you happy to be you, then you’ll like this book.

 

 

Please let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at elainewrites@earthlink.net

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live your truth, in harmony with people, nature and the environment. May you be a force for good and a source of love and comfort. May the world be a better place for you having lived and loved here.

All rights reserved 2020

Book Review: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Book Review: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (2020) (Fiction) (YA) (Adult)

4 Stars****

The story begins in 1968 in the sleepy, insignificant town of Mallard, Louisiana. This town is not even noted on a map, so what makes this town unique? Just about all of the residents are mixed race white or light-skinned blacks. Most could pass for white by appearance, but don’t want to, that is until one attractive woman serves as a successful example that is followed by one of our main characters. We meet the beautifully striking, lustrous black-haired, violet-eyed, identical Vignes twins: Stella and Desiree who, at sixteen years old, decide to run off together to New Orleans in search of opportunities that are nonexistent in their hometown.

As much as these two women look the same, they do not think the same. Stella, the adventurous, confident one, eventually leaves behind her much shyer, less secure sister. Stella realizes an opportunity, grabs on to it, and lives her life far away as a white woman as if she never was Stella Vignes from Mallard, LA. Desiree eventually finds her way back to Mallard, now embracing the destiny she tried so hard to avoid.

The issue of race is constant. The lighter the skin, the more easily accepted. Barriers seem temporary. Opportunities abound. Hard work and diligence always pay off. The sisters marry men who are polar opposites of each other. One marriage thrives with the lies. The other ends badly with the truth, but destiny steps in to turn the tide. Both sisters have ambitious, self-motivated daughters who look nothing alike. Very often, the truth is an obstacle to realization of goals, so it must be avoided at all costs. If you thought the truth of any situation would devastate someone you loved, would you choose to reveal or hide it at all costs?

The ending was abrupt, like a door being slammed in my face. I wanted more. Transitions were often lacking whereby we were suddenly transported. I often found myself confused as to which character was actually speaking. The story is told in alternating chapter updates about each character highlighting how their paths diverge from what is shared to the veiling and denial of their roots.

Significance of the title? Anything the characters don’t want to admit about their families is erased from memory and from everyday life. Lie when necessary to protect the illusion’ so the dots of the truth cannot be connected.

This book is beautifully written with rich vocabulary and clearly defined characters. This book is an excellent example of literature, rather than the prevailing commercial successes of psychological manipulations. Optioned by HBO, we can expect a mini-series soon. I can’t wait!

 

Please let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at elainewrites@earthlink.net

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live your truth, in harmony with people, nature and the environment. May you be a force for good and a source of love and comfort. May the world be a better place for you having lived and loved here.

All rights reserved 2020

Book Review: The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton

Book Review: The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton (2020) (Fiction) 3 Stars ***

“People are what circumstances make them.” Agree or disagree with this  statement made at the beginning of the book by Helen, one of the main characters?  We follow the lives of Helen, Mirta, and Elizabeth on Depression Era Labor Day weekend 1935, Key West, Florida, set against the true story of the Labor Day deluge, one of the most devastating and almost unexpected hurricanes to hit mainland United States.

The lives of the three main characters and the men they are involved with, once strangers but now connected by Fate, intertwine and overlap to bring them to a life-changing end.

We learn about the neglect and broken promises to the the returning veterans of WWI, many forever negatively impacted, unable to return to their home towns to resume their rightful places in society. Sent to Key West to work and live in deplorable conditions, about half of the hundreds of these hapless men perish as the sea swells and overtakes the land.

As in many vacation destinations, the actual number and names of the people who live, work and vacation in tourist destinations are not always known. Between 400 and 800 prople died that day—men, women, children—whose attempts to save themselves were mostly unsuccessful and in the hands of Fate. Some live. Some die. Who decides?

The characters are shallowly portrayed. Each with a different narrative, their dependence on men drives the story. Their observations and reactions to the impending disaster are repetitious as each couple has the same conversatons as they realize the danger they are in and plan their escapes.

You see, the US weather people, not having the sophisticated equipment they do now, advised that the the hurricane would make landfall in Tampa located in Florida’s northwest instead of Key West on Florida’s southeast coast. They were dead wrong. By the time this error was realized, it was much too late to escape the doomed maritime paradise situated at about 4.7 feet above sea level.

The significance of the title? Many tourists traveled to Key West by train since airplane travel was still uncommon. “The Overseas Extension of the Florida East Coast Railway once referred to as ‘Flagler’s Folly’—was destroyed and never rebuilt, and in 1938, the new Overseas Highway was opened using stretches of the destroyed Overseas Railroad.”

The hurricane background information is well-researched and well presented but the characters’ stories leave a lot to be desired. A great beach read or if you’re looking for something light and undemanding of your attention.

 

Please let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at elainewrites@earthlink.net

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live your truth, in harmony with people, nature and the environment. May you be a force for good and a source of love and comfort. May the world be a better place for you having lived and loved here.

All rights reserved 2020

Book Review: A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight

Book Review: A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight (2020) (Fiction) 4 Stars ****

(Q.) What makes a good marriage? (A.) “The ability and willingness to overlook, forgive, and take on the problems of one’s spouse.” How many people are willing to do this? Apparently all of the characters in this book. Secret after secret is revealed. Young married couples living in the tony Park Slope section of Brooklyn, New York. Movers and shakers, artist types, obsessed with having the right look, the right  schools for their kids, the right conversations. Self-esteems comes from the approval of those who matter. Kids are shipped off to sleep-away camp during the summer months so the parents can play, sometimes naughty little games. In the midst of this upwardly striving mania, the bloodied body of the beautiful, kind, mysterious Amanda is discovered by her husband Zach at the bottom of the staircase inside their home.

As investigations peel away the layers, word of spouse-swapping parties comes to light. ‘Who’s zoomin’ who?’ Who is lying to protect spouses, casual lovers, co-workers? Is everyone’s financial success merely the point- counterpoint of smoke and mirrors?

Lizzie has the dubious honor of being chosen by long-ago friend Zach to represent him in the charge of murder. Manipulating beyond belief, this scammer ties Lizzie in knots to make her do his bidding. Lizzie’s dogged determination and attention to detail lead her to a myriad of contradictory information. Does anyone tell the truth in this neighborhood? It seems that no one, yet everyone, is guilty.

The story is told from the point of view of different character situations in alternating chapters. Past and present ore often confusing. Unrelated details are often tedious as the reader struggles to separate the clues from the need to increase word count. At about 25% into the book, I was already looking to see how much was left to read. The story unfolds verrrry slowly . Certain plot points are left unresolved: What happens to the murdered woman’s young son and where is the story surrounding Caroline, Amanda’s childhood friend? These omissions are no small things.

Yes, a number of twists and turns throw us off the scent to add some spice to a ho-hum exposition. This book is reminiscent of Big Little Lies and The Wife Between Us. This same formula is being used for many of the supremely lauded books that appear on best seller lists, it would seem even before they’re finished. Follow the winning formula, drop in your characters’ names, change the setting to another New York City trendy neighborhood, change a few plot points, and voila! —we’ve got ourselves a best selling book!

OK, so the book has its merits if we can find the patience to plod through it. Surprising twists will do that. I have to ask myself: Is this formula book receiving critical acclaim because of its currently popular genre, its author with friends in very high places, or for its literary and plot excellence? Well … this is the type of book that will be made into a Cable TV mini-series, just like all the other ones that fit into this mold. If commercial success is your thing, you’ll enjoy this book.

 

Please let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at elainewrites@earthlink.net

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live your truth, in harmony with people, nature and the environment. May you be a force for good and a source of love and comfort. May the world be a better place for you having lived and loved here.

All rights reserved 2020

 

 

Book Review: The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

Book Review: The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel (2020) (Fiction)
4 Stars ****

Characters appear in concentric circles like planets revolving around the sun, as the author reveals, from what seems like left-field, the story of twenty-four-year-old lost, but always searching, Vincent, a young woman named for the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. Her alcoholic, druggie, sometimes productive half-brother Paul, and the owner of the hotel, handsome, wealthy, manipulating Jonathan Alkaitis, various friends and acquaintances, revolve around Vincent as the author reveals a little bit more of what’s really going on. Anyone who believes in fate, will recognize the whirlwind that sucks up victims and players throughout lifetimes, only to deposit them in some future path, either to assist or rescue, or to create havoc, but insuring lives will never be the same. This is one of those books that makes it hard to trust. What you see is most often not what you get. If it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t.

Vincent is working as a bartender in a 5 Star hotel in a remote area of Canada.  Her dysfunctional childhood leads to frequent job changes, but Vincent is happy in her current position. Wanting to offer Paul a helping hand, Vincent secures a low level job for her half-brother at the hotel. About a week later, there is an angry message written on the huge glass wall of the hotel, “Why don’t you swallow broken glass?”  The hotel staff and guests are deeply disturbed by the implied anger, but only one person knows for whom the message is intended. Circumstances lead to Paul’s abrupt firing and departure, creating a rift between Vincent and Paul.

Jonathan Alkaitis arrives at his hotel on the heels of the drama. Seemingly unaware of her haunting beauty, Vincent is surprised when the hotel owner shows interest in her and presents her with a life changing proposition. Vincent learns that money is its own country and a select few have the keys to the kingdom.

Vincent lives a fairy tale until one fateful day…. Having always been adaptable and pragmatic, Vincent foresees an alternate future: acts on it, revels in it until …

Readers learn about shadow worlds where people live the lives they wish to present to their audience—a life where you can finagle facts and appearances, let your mind wander to lift you from the reality of your existence, so that your misdeeds are the result of other people’s stupidity and lack of action, and not at all a product of your hustle.

Slow and seemingly aimless at the beginning, the planets move in closer to exert their influence and knowledge. The story is complicated but slowly revealed. Stick with it. It’s worth the time investment. I would love to see a movie made of Vincent’s story. Also, this is an excellent choice for a college women’s studies class.

 

Please let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at elainewrites@earthlink.net

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live your truth, in harmony with people, nature and the environment. May you be a force for good and a source of love and comfort. May the world be a better place for you having lived and loved here.

All rights reserved 2020

Book Review: My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

Book Review: My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell (Fiction) (2020) 4 Stars ****

Dark. Disturbing. Psychologically manipulative. Emotionally confusing. Morally vague. If you’re into this stuff, you’ll love this book. Personally, I was turned off but I forced myself out of my comfort zone to become a voyeur into the life, internal self-congratulations and outright lies of a psychological mess. I never enjoy being in the head of a crazy person—especially a young woman for whom I should have compassion and sympathy. Other than outright killers and abusers, I can easily say Vanessa Wye is my least favorite character of any book I have ever read. This girl is no child; she’s a predator. I’m going to try not to spoil the story by being too detailed with my comments and examples, in case you choose to read it. Very well-written, but disturbing.

We meet fifteen-year-old Vanessa as a newly transferred student at a private high school in Maine and follow her delusional manipulations until she is well into her thirties. Vanessa is attracted to her much, much older English teacher and pedophile Jacob Strane. They begin a flirtation that results in unfulfilling sex. Strane, as Vanessa calls him, is unattractive, pot-bellied, unkempt, and a master manipulator. He is intent upon freezing her image as childish and child-like, while Vanessa wants to be viewed as a desirable, mature, powerful vamp. While Vanessa brings sexy, black lingerie to one of their trysts, Strane forces her to wear white baby doll pajamas decorated with strawberries. He wants Vanessa to call him Daddy.

The older Vanessa gets, the less Strane is interested. There are numerous accusations and rumors floating around the school, the neighborhood, and the media, but Vanessa refuses to believe Strane could be attracted to anyone else. When given the chance to report him or just walk away, Vanessa believes she is in control. She believes she is so irresistible that it is her fault that he cannot keep away but instead, is magnetized in her direction because they are soul mates. “I think we’re very similar, Nessa,” he tells her, appropriating a family nickname he learned at a parent-teacher conference. “I can tell from the way you write that you’re a dark romantic like me. You like dark things.”

Vanessa keeps him in her adult life, refusing to confirm allegations of teenage girls of unwanted sexual advances. Never pursuing an adult relationship with Vanessa, Strane stays away from her with flimsy excuses that she does not believe, but tells herself that he fears her power over him. After all, she is the Lolita in his life. Vanessa does not date and has never been intimate with any boy or man other than Strane. She is in a stuck place. He continues to run his game.

In later years, Vanessa finds herself attracted to one of her college professors but her attempts at seduction are repelled. Vanessa has opened a can of worms and a view into her dark heart, her lies, her evasions, and her warped psyche.

In time, her taunts and manipulations add to an already precarious situation that ends in  tragedy. She is seen for who she wants to be—a siren leading the ships to the rocks.

 

Please let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at elainewrites@earthlink.net

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live your truth, in harmony with people, nature and the environment. May you be a force for good and a source of love and comfort. May the world be a better place for you having lived and loved here.

All rights reserved 2020

 

Previous Older Entries

Saturday, March 14, 2020- Barnes & Noble, Massapequa, NY 12:00-4:00pm

November 2020
M T W T F S S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  
%d bloggers like this: