Every Thursday, host Alyce from At Home With Books, challenges us to search our shelves (and our memory banks) for those special books that touched our hearts and minds.  Favorite reads.

Today I found this book on a shelf and immediately traipsed back in time to when I read it.

Blackbird, by Jennifer Lauck, is a memoir.

On Amazon, this review tells a bit about this story:

Prefaced by a medical report summarizing her mother’s various hospitalizations, this heartbreaking memoir reconstructs the sad and turbulent events of Lauck’s childhood, which was overshadowed by the illness and early death of her mother. In 1969, five-year-old Lauck stayed with her mother at their home in Carson City, Nev., preparing her mother’s breakfast, helping her get dressed on good days and basking in the warmth of her mother’s undivided attention while her older brother was at school and her father at work. When her mother’s health continued to decline (among other things, she suffered from a duodenal ulcer and tumors), Lauck’s father was advised to seek better care in California. The move was traumatic, for it separated Lauck from the only home she knew and from her caring, extended family. At her mother’s urging, Lauck told no one at her school of her mother’s illness, fearing the interference of social welfare authorities. After her mother died in 1971, when Lauck was seven, her father quickly remarried, bestowing on his children a classically evil stepmother, and leaving Lauck feeling powerless to complain about her new misery to her often absent father. Lauck’s writing is utterly convincing, although the child narrator’s innocent voice sometimes leaves the reader wondering how her father could have been so blind to his children’s welfare or why their extended family did not step in sooner to help these unhappy children. Throughout, Lauck, who is now in her 30s, remains true to her child’s eye and keeps the reader sympathetic and engaged. Fans of emotionally powerful booksAor anyone who has lost a parentAwill find this memoir very satisfying. Agent, Rita Rosenkranz. Author tour. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Why I Chose This Book:

As many of you know, I spent many years working with dysfunctional families, many of whom had horrendous stories to tell.  Most of my colleagues would not fill their personal time with books and movies that feature these same events.  But for whatever reason, I did…and do.

Maybe it’s that I can feel a connection to the characters, and perhaps even identify just a bit with their plight.  My own family story (which I have fictionalized in some of my books) certainly echoes some of these same issues.

Each time I read such a story, I am hoping to see the characters emerge victorious, having survived the horrendous moments of their childhood lives.  Those times when we all feel powerless.  And in this story, the author does indeed arise from the terrible times and has written about it.

And to add to the drama of this first memoir, there’s another. Still Waters is the compelling sequel.

What book is your favorite this week?  I hope you’ll stop by and share.

6 thoughts on “MY FAVORITE READS — SEPT. 23

  1. This book sounds so sad. How awful to lose her mother so young and have her replaced by the evil stepmother. I am no good at reading true life stories like this, they just upset me too much. I am glad to hear you love it though.


  2. This story and the sequel sound so familiar to me that I’m sure I’ve read them, yet I didn’t remember the titles. That’s the whole reason I started keeping a reading list a few years ago though – I started forgetting details (like the titles) of books I had read. Good choice!


    • Yes, I read it many years ago, too; way before I started reviewing. It’s on my stack of “rereads.” I’ve discovered that another benefit of reviewing is how that helps me recall details of a book I’ve read.

      Thanks for stopping by, Alyce.


Please leave your thoughts. Comments, not awards, feed my soul. Thanks!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.