Live Your Truth by Sandy Cooper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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!
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The review was done courtesy to the copy provided by the writer in association with Word Slinger Publicity
She has looked to the body of the lady –covered in white clothes-for the last time.
Maybe after a long time-she is absorbing the company of her mother with all her senses- after a long, long time!
Because what memory she has of her mother is the painful haunting nightmare of her-getting her snatched away from the company of her mother-from the warmth of her family- to the dark cold corner of the orphanage-when she was merely five-and was not able to recognise what cruel joke the destiny has played with her. When the kid is expected to enjoy the company of her doting parents-she was exiled from the home.
For the rest of her life-it is all blurred nightmare- her father always thought she is the witch of the family-who is going to ruin the fortune of the family.
She has asked god a million times-looking at the dark night sky-twinkling with million zillion diamonds-‘why me god? What wrong have i done to deserve this?’
The god remained silent!
And now- she is in front of her mother-her lifeless, cold body-for the last time –or you maybe say for the first time in so many years.
And her father-or rather whom she has hated throughout his life being her father- is still abusing her-yelling at her
‘Don’t you dare touch her, you filthy whore’
Thunder of thousand rivers is nearly to explode in her mind-all the atoms that has made her is about to start a chain reaction-unleashing of anger is going to be like the eruption of a volcano after thousand years of dormancy.
Everything is getting erased up-her memory, soul, future.
Darkness everywhere-is there any light?
KLASS by Prita Yadav is the story of a girl-who has to fight with the ghost of the past to survive in the present or more precisely surviving in the future- because she has chosen her present to be like an aimless ship. That’s why when her parents got her admitted in the KLASS-an elite sports school in the state of Maharashtra-her single point agenda was to behave so strangely so that she might get expelled from the school in no time. If you think it is self destruction-then I am afraid you are quite right. But from psychological viewpoint –her only wish was to see her parent’s endeavour being crashed. In the word of the writer-
‘Just the ideal school where I always dreamt of studying’. Jo thought looking around the majestic school. ‘Then why do I have this nagging feeling in my heart? It is only because she selected this school for me? Why do I feel I don’t belong here? Is it because of the other people or is it because of the Kelvin Jordan? I need to teach him a good lesson.’
It is hard to express the dilemma of a girl who has gone through this storm-persistently since her childhood and who is about to step into adolescence. Prita has made that challenging work look amazingly easy with her free flowing style of narration-story –line is spontaneous-like a fountain or you may say- like the first experience of unbound adolescence.
So let us return back to the story. From day one she is determined to challenge the rules and regulations of the elite institutions at every step, so that the authority may have no option but to expel her from the school. And her start was perfect- on her way to the school-in the bus. She had an encounter with Nick and Somesh-her would be classmates.
‘But before Somesh could complete his statement,Jo casually stood up, stretched her limbs and landed a hard punch on his stomach. Somesh let out a cry and in blind rage flung himself as Jo, she moved out of his way just in time and he went crashing down the aisle.’
But human mind sometimes plays with the individual. Brain commands one way- and the heart directs the other way. Little did she knew that she will encounter a mofussil girl –with her hair smeared in mustard oil- wearing an typical dress-who will change her destiny?
In the class she is amid confusion-lots and lots of confusion. Only the extremely meritorious students are admitted to the school. Then how come she-an average student or rather what she projects of herself got her admitted. How come her class teacher knows all about her parents? How did she-who had proudly told the world that she is jack of no trade, have her ranked in the blue house? (Blue house students excel in one sport.)
She is also a mystery to her friends. Why she always inside a hard shell? Why her past haunts her present? Why she likes to attack the outside world? Does she believe in offence is the best defence policy-or it has something to do with her past-shrouded in mystery.
It is a story of friendship-love –hate, of infatuation and of romance, of emotion and relation, a story of a dream being woven and a dream being broken. Emotional moments of her reunion with her mother- amid the silence of the tomb-has really transformed this story into a classical perturbation.
But as life never stops at anything-as life has the force to dominate over all fragility of life-so has the story-it does not stop at the last page.
Voyaging towards endless possibilities………….
Possibilities of life………
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Taking Leaps and Finding Ghosts: A Novel by Janet Delee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The atmosphere is electrifying.
His friends are eagerly waiting to cheer him- a warm audience is all set to welcome the new talent.
Limelight is entirely on him.
It is now a matter of time before the unknown singer cum songwriter turns out to be the darling of the town-and why not?
He has a fresh voice and he is immensely talented in terms of song writing.
It is a perfect launching pad for the new Elvis presale.
But where is he?
To be or not to be-that is the question.
A fresh plot with warm narration- coupled with immaculate sense of humour- is an one sentence impression of ‘ Taking Leaps and Finding Ghosts’ by Janet De Lee’ – a novel that will make you think, make you imagine, make you shiver and at the end will make you embrace the beautiful life more closely. The book is just like the life itself-full of ups and downs-full of joy and grief-full of hope and despair- and at the end?
Well-if you want to know it all—then why you will buy and read the book-especially in the light of the fact-that the end has the biggest amazement in store for you.
So for the time being let us divert our attention from the book and place the spotlight on the story- a story that is sure to offer you all ambience of a warm colourful life- life that loves to fly like a circling eagle- high above the sky…..
Everybody has a dream –hidden inside deep into the mind-sometimes the dream can see the light of the day-sometimes can’t –but always the individual has the potential to give it a shape. But we fail in shaping our dreams- because obstacles attack like octopus – leaving us only hoping that one day some miracle will make our dream a reality. And the obstacles are mostly from within our own minds- in every step we do think-‘if it does not happen?’
Suspicion in our own abilities chains our feet.
And the take off does not take place!
Ginny, a successful wirier of two best selling novels- and working on her third masterpiece-has a novel idea of setting of a club-the Ideal Life club. And what will be the goal of the club?
Every member of the club will water the sapling of dream in other member’s minds. Well- to me it sounds terrific-but I ‘m sure my readers are finding it hard to fathom what I am taking. That is because my weak pen is unable to convey the idea-perhaps the original message of the club will help
“Is there a dream you long to pursue
A talent you want to turn into a career
You are invited to the first meeting of the Ideal Life Club to be held at the Creekside Library, the first Wednesday in May at 7p.m. …..so bring your dreams and begin your quest with a group of like minded individuals. No goal is too big or too small- bring it all.”
Ginny herself was a little suspicious about the success of her own mission-whether the idea will stumble at the very beginning. And of course she has an interest- a dream is hibernated deep inside the cold of her mind.
And she got her first ‘like minded individual’ at the printing press-where she went for the placards to be prepared.
Came the eventful Wednesday and Ginny-our protagonist came to the meeting room of the library with trembling heart.
And she discovered her first like minded soul in Jerry-the boy from the printing press.
And then the second, and the third….
With five members-the cruise of the Ideal Life Club has started its voyage!
Everybody has a dream and passionate about it-but are afraid to step out-afraid of failure!
Ginny has always dreamt of owning a vintage cottage- where she will drink the life to its fullest taste. Where her two pets will be at comfort-where she will meet her family- where she will write her future masterpieces. But spiralling cost of real estate, hassle in bank loan, difficulty in finding a suitable one – all the thrones in her way of acquiring her dream. Then comes Jerry-the boy from the publishing house. He has a dream of becoming a singer and an original song writer-but his obstacles are his stage fright. Nightmare of facing the audience haunts him day and night- facing the audience is like someone is pressing his vocal chord. third member is Hilda-who is working with an assisted care facility since the demise of his husband-but her dream is to go ahead with her talent in crafts- have her own unit of crafts making! But she is afraid to start with-she has a dream of starting with local crafts fair-but possible nightmare of slump in sales discourages him!
And then Lydia-the cooking specialist who has many a new recipes to her credit-and is passionate about writing a cookbook. As now she is a little free-it will be a fun way to start with. And then comes the last but not the least-the Mr. Construction man- Lee who is of late observing some supernatural attacks in his construction sites. it is his expectation with the group- to find a way out !
They start with a notebook and pen in hand- and imagining that their goals have been fulfilled. It is a lovely way of taking first step forward- and all are eager to start with after the first meeting!
But taking the first step forward is always not the giant leap-for example Ginny found it hard to find her dream estate- Jerry had an unexpected opening, but everything got messed up- Hilda’s first show proved to be a disaster- Lydia got undecided on which recipe to choose and which to reject……
But holding each one’s hand at the moment of crisis-is what human soul expects. And who else are there –except the members of the club?
It is a fun filled, eventful journey in their quest for touching the rainbow of life….
The first one to touch her dream was Ginny (who else?) and she met with an unexpected event in her new dream home
“Then Ginny’s eye was caught by something odd in the dining room. She walked over and found that there were place settings for eight arranged on the table in full ‘company’s coming’ array with her sterling silver flatware, best china and linen napkins. As Ginny stood there taking it al in, goose bumps skittered up her spine all the ways to her scalp, and she could feel her hair rise at the root. Her eyes were wide as saucers as she looked around.”
That’s just the tips of the iceberg. Soon ‘Ghosts’ started to create strange things.
Will she be able to find a way out-with the help of other members? Or her dream became her nightmare?
And to which path the destiny takes the four other souls.
A writing that is straight from the heart is sure to make you feel warmer-even if you are infested with coldest of weather.
And the climax-that will hold your life more tightly…….
And will make you dream-because you have the ability to achieve it!
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