It is a literary fiction by genre. But it can easily be dubbed as an autobiography. Or it can be termed as a memoir. It is the story of a person who has seen much of life. It is the autobiography of a human who has relentlessly fought with rising waves of life. It is the memoir of an individual for whom life is inevitably full of surprises-surprises that do not give a flowery feelings any more. Live Your Truth by Sandy Cooper is inevitably everyone’s story. It is the story of life. As a debutant author Sandy has shown exceptional maturity in detailing the psychological conflict of a man who by her own words is hit by the tsunamis of life.
The timeline of the fiction initiates at the fiftieth birthday of the protagonist. Fiftieth birthday is by all means a milestone of life. And to me the timing for the story to start could not have been better. It is the age, when everyone expects to arrive at a relatively mature state of life. It is the time when individual expects to cruise through the ocean of life and arrive at a relatively safe harbor. But nobody dreams in wildest nightmare that he or she has to start a life afresh. Exactly that is what which happened in her life. Sandy could never have expected that in her fiftieth birthday a golden chariot will drive up to her house and take her to White House to have a dinner with Mr. President. But at least somebody can easily expect that a few bouquets will arrive- a few roses will come- a few phone calls-a few greeting cards. Bouquet did arrive but that is a relative different story altogether.
What moved me at the very beginning is the ability of Sandy to create an ambience-an ambience from where the story can take off. She has an inimitable style that creates a sense of suspense at the very onset and I was forced to think that whether it is a thriller or not. Believe me! Simply I was. She encounters three unexpected happenings that are enough to simply bend down somebody. Her professional career got a jolt-her personal relation got a beating-and last but not the least she has an unexpected announcement from her mother. Such was the strong impact that at first I was sure it all due to some external catalyst like some supernatural power-some spy agencies- some mastermind planning. And wonder of wonders –when I ventured deep into the book I was able to discover that catalyst was there alright-but the name of the catalyst was life.
Like the icing of the cake she was burdened further with managing the financial responsibilities of her grandmother. That does mean that she does not have any material gain but to manage a hoard of responsibilities in addition to her already troubled present. And it is not the responsibility of a particular individual-it is the responsibility of the entire family. In the words of the writer
‘My mother had planned an ambush. It felt like the air was being sucked out of the room. Everything was completely silent, save the trickling of the clock on the wall which seemed to be pounding in time to my thumping heartbeat. What my mother has spent the past fifty years trying to accomplish, she had done in one full swoop over the past ten minutes. She was transferring her own powers to me. She was putting me in charge of not just my grandmother’s well being, but of the well being of my entire family.’
But it was just the beginning. She has to solve problems-lots of problems. Her father’s portfolio management is one of them. Threatened by the possible burden of income tax-her father has put up his financial investments in a portfolio that he can’t just touch for the time when it is most needed. Obviously he has done it at the advice of a man who is basically concerned about his own commission-not about the ailing man sitting beside him.
Next came the bill of the nursing care of her grandmother. When there is not enough money left at the account-can the amount bill is paid? Or in other words can a family survive with food that can barely support one individual? Is she a wizard of the Oz?
Life is a lesson that at every moment opens before us a new chapter. The fiery tests Sandy did face are parts of her lessons. The question is whether Sandy will shatter like a fragile piece of glass or triumph against all odds?
I was really moved with the narration of last few days or more precisely speaking last few hours of the life of the mother of Sandy. Bitten by an incurable disease-her days are illuminated by her zeal to live and her daughter’s desperate struggle against the course of the tide. She knew it was a lost battle already and still she tried-tried and continued to try. The narration was so heart touching that it can easily make the eyelids wet-
‘Though eventually the cancer won, I felt that my mother and I had fought as hard as possible for as long as we could. I truly felt like we had fought the cancer together. Every step of the way, we’d joined forces and fought together, until the end. My mother and I were the strongest people I knew. We were cut from the same cloth.’
It is the sincere effort of Sandy that has made her stand apart in the crowd-you can easily identify who can easily nicknamed as Courage!
The review was done courtesy to the copy provided by the writer in association with Word Slinger Publicity