Author: Thalia Henry Release Date: 26th October 2017 Genre: Realistic Fiction, Travel Series: Edition: E-book Pages: 248 Publisher: Cloud Ink Press Ltd Blurb: Set amidst the physical and psychological landscapes of New Zealand’s southern hills and grasslands, Beneath Pale Water is a social realist and expressionistic novel that follows a triangle of three damaged individuals – a sculptor, a vagrant and a model – who have grown calcified shells against the world. Their search for identity and belonging leads them into dangerous territory that threatens both their sanity and lives. As their protective shells crack they are left vulnerable – both physically and emotionally – to the high country winds and their own conflicts that, ultimately, might free or destroy them.
“Powerfully evokes the landscapes and seasons of inland Otago.” Owen Marshall
Winner of the IPPY Gold Medal Award, Australia/New Zealand – Best Regional Fiction, 2018
Beneath Pale Water by Thalia Henry is a wonderfully written book rich with descriptions of places that authors take us through one-by-one via her skillfully created characters. I enjoyed this book and felt that it was very different from the other, modern contemporary, genre fiction.
This book had a great story, good characterization, simple yet effective writing and a beautiful atmosphere which enveloped it from starting to end. Equal parts philosophical and entertaining, this book was uniquely interesting and engrossing. Initially, it took me a couple of pages to get into the story but once I got into the flow of the book, I was in it for good. I appreciated the author’s resistance to over-indulging in exposition as it saved the book from being too heavy.
A considerably quick that I’d recommend to anyone who enjoys reading about other countries and cultures.
As a writer, it becomes a necessity at some point or the other, to understand as many technicalities of the craft as possible. Whether you’re an intuitive writer or a deliberate one, there will be times when you’ll have to break the literary rules in order to create your masterpiece, but in order to do so, you first need to know what those rules are. So studying literary devices becomes essential and significant in order to become a better writer.
On the other hand, it is not only beneficial to know about literary devices as a writer, but also as a reader. As a reader, it will help you understand the purpose of the writing better and also to know the real focus of a particular written work. And, on a more practical note, it’ll help you write your school reports and book analysis or reviews better and score good grades (I’m sure that alone should be motivation enough.)
I have come to realise that it is a healthy practice to become a well-informed writer as well as a reader.
A Comprehensive Look At Literary Devices
The definition of a literary device on Your Dictionary, an online open dictionary source, is as a technique a writer uses to produce a special effect in their writing.
This definition is short and sweet but leaves a lot of unanswered questions in one’s mind. In order to fully understand the ocean of things hidden behind these two words, one needs to look at it very closely. So here’s my take on these two very beautiful words:
Literary devices are the techniques a writer uses in order to create a unique and powerful yet appropriate effect in their writing to help them influence the reader’s imagination while at the same time helping the reader to understand the writing effectively and on a much deeper level. It adds multiple layers of sense, feelings and emotions to the reader’s imagination and helps the writer in gripping the reader’s conception of their work in a very effective way.
To further understand literary devices better, they can be broken down into two parts:
1. Literary elements
Literary elements are elements used by the writer in the overall scheme of the things. Some of the main literary elements are:
Antagonist – a character, or a group of characters, which stands in opposition to the protagonist, which is the main character.
Characters – any person, animal, or figure represented in a literary work. There are many types of characters that exist in literature, each with its own development and function.
Conflict – A conflict in literature is defined as any struggle between opposing forces. Usually, the main character struggles against some other force. This type of conflict is what drives each and every story.
Dialogues – a technique in which writers employ two or more characters to be engaged in conversation with one another.
Mood – a literary element that evokes certain feelings or vibes in readers through words and descriptions. Usually, mood is referred to as the atmosphere of a literary piece, as it creates an emotional setting that surrounds the readers.
Moral – a message conveyed by, or a lesson learned from the story.
Narrative – a report of related events presented to listeners or readers, in words arranged in a logical sequence. A story is taken as a synonym of narrative. A narrative, or story, is told by a narrator who may be a direct part of that experience, and he or she often shares the experience as a first-person narrator.
Plot – literary term used to describe the events that make up a story, or the main part of a story. These events relate to each other in a pattern or a sequence. The structure of a novel depends on the organization of events in the plot of the story.
Point Of Views – he mode of narration that an author employs to let the readers “hear” and “see” what takes place in a story, poem, or essay.
Protagonist – the central character or leading figure in poetry, narrative, novel or any other story. A protagonist is sometimes a “hero” to the audience or readers.
Setting – the time and place in which the story takes place. The definition of setting can also include social statuses, weather, historical period, and details about immediate surroundings.
Structure – the arrangement of story elements according to purpose, style and genre.
Theme – the central topic or idea explored in a text.
2. Literary techniques
Literary techniques are the words or phases employed by the writers in their writing. Some fo the main literary techniques are:
Allegory – use of characters and events in a story to represent or deliver a broader message.
Alliteration – a series of words or phrases that all (or almost all) start with the same sound.
Allusion – an expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference.
Anachronism – the action of attributing something to a period to which it does not belong.
Analogy – a comparison between one thing and another, typically for the purpose of explanation or clarification.
Antithesis – explaining an idea or thing by comparing it to something that is familiar.
Colloquialism – use of informal words, phrases, or even slang in a piece of writing.
Consonance – the recurrence of similar-sounding consonants in close proximity, especially in prosody.
Diction – the style of speaking that a writer, speaker, or character uses.
Epigraph – a short quotation or saying at the beginning of a book or chapter, intended to suggest its theme.
Euphemism – a mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing.
Flashbacks – a scene set in a time earlier than the main story.
Foreshadowing – a warning or indication of (a future event).
Hyperbole – exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally.
Irony – the expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.
Imagery – use of language and description that appeals to our five senses.
ImpliedMetaphors – a word or phrase that compares two unlike things to more clearly describe them, without mentioning one of the things.
Juxtaposition – the fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect.
Malapropism – the mistaken use of a word in place of a similar-sounding one, often with an amusing effect.
Metaphor – a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.
Metonym – a word, name, or expression used as a substitute for something else with which it is closely associated. For example, Washington is a metonym for the US government.
Onomatopoeia – the formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named.
Oration – elaborate and dignified speech.
Oxymorons – a figure of speech in which two opposite ideas are joined to create an effect.
Paradox – a statement or proposition which, despite sound (or apparently sound) reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems logically unacceptable or self-contradictory.
Personification – giving human traits and qualities, such as emotions, desires, sensations, gestures and speech, often by way of a metaphor, to things.
Repetition – the recurrence of an action or event.
Similes – a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more emphatic or vivid
Soliloquy – an act of speaking one’s thoughts aloud when by oneself or regardless of any hearers, especially by a character in a play.
Symbolism – using symbolic images and indirect suggestion to express mystical ideas, emotions, and states of mind.
Synecdoche – a figure of speech in which a part is made to represent the whole or vice versa.
So this is the in and out on literary devices. There are a lot more literary elements and techniques but the ones listed here are the main ones so they would be enough if you just want to know literary devices on the surface. But if you want to dig deeper, I’ll be writing another article in future exploring these and many other literary elements and techniques in detail.
If you are a new writer, or an established one stuck in a rut looking for inspiration, do read these articles:
Author: Venancio Cadle Gomani Jr. Release Date: 1st January 2019 Genre: African Fiction Series: Ghost Tribes (Book #1) Edition: Ebook Pages: 199 Publisher: Venancio Gomani Books Blurb: In a semi-fictional verisimilitude of the continent of Africa, all the tribes are ruled by kings, smaller breakaway tribes are ruled by chiefs, and all are governed by the council of paramount—a legion of the noble tribes of the continent.
The principal story follows the tale of Likando and the war of the brother kings. Likando is the Lozi tribe’s princess, heir-elect to the throne, and the only legitimate child of the Lozi king, Simasiku Lumeta. However, growing without the presence of her mother, and her father never having told her the story of who her mother is or where she is or if she is even alive today, causes her to begin searching for the truth against her father’s permission and/or consent. She stumbles upon darker truths that result in her to learn that her birth may not have been a result of love or mere chance, but a carefully considered and planned series of events. This leads the princess into taking courses of action that bring her tribe, family, and overall kingdom to the brink of near-extinction.
The second part of the tale which begins eight years before the events of the first novel follows the story of Kaleya, the lost son of nothing who, after waking up alone in the jungle with no memory of his identity or his past prior, goes on a quest to discover the truth behind his stolen memories but entangles himself in a series of circumstances that result in him having to fight for his survival more often than not. The second part of the story simultaneously chronicles the Ghost of Africa, an enigma thought to be a demon that terrorizes tribes around a territory it claimed as its own three years before the events of the novel. Before the Ghost of Africa occupied the territory it occupies, there lived a thriving tribe with an organized structure and an army of possessed soldiers, ten thousand strong. However, when the Ghost of Africa first emerged, it led an army of exiled tribesmen-turned cannibal, who form the population referred to as the cannibals tribeless in the millions, against the growing tribe and thus, overwhelming its army and having the cannibals devour the raw flesh of the men, women, and children of the tribe. After wiping out of existence the tribe that existed in its territory prior, the demon goes on to fence that very territory with the skulls of the tribe’s populist on barbed wooden stakes in the hundreds of thousands all around that territory as a warning for anyone who ever dared to trespass.
The first book in the series, The Ghost of Africa, opens with Likando, the heir-elect to the Lozi throne, preparing for the maturity ceremony who gets ambushed by a gang of purported ‘mixed-breeds’. This series of events leads her to come face-to-face with the Ghost of Africa.
Ghost Tribes: The Ghost of Africa by Venancio Cadle Gomani Jr. is a beautiful book that is culturally so rich that it is impossible to not like it. It is an enriched and captivating tale which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.
The book opens with a bang and ends on such a high note that I was left thoroughly impressed by the author’s ability to pull off something like this, which is conceptually so heavy, with such ease and precision. The writing is commendable and I am looking forward to reading more works by the author.
The characterization could have been better, but it is one of those books in which story is the main hero and the characters come next. So overall it proved to be a pretty good read and I’d recommend it to anyone who likes reading books with more emphasis on the story than characters.
You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon
Author: Lucy Madison Release Date: 5th October 2018 Genre: Romance, LGBT, Contemporary Series: Edition: e-book Pages: 181 Publisher: Labrador Publishing, LLC Blurb: Piermont, New York. Danika Russo is 55, newly retired from a 30-year career as a mail carrier, and stuck in a rut. After putting her own needs on hold to care for her terminally ill partner and her unloving father, Danika is holed up the childhood home she inherited, a claustrophobic time warp from the 1970s complete with brown Formica and linoleum, and not sure what to do next.
Her best friend Natalie suggests making a list of things she has always wanted to do. Stepping outside her comfort zone, self-deprecating Danika opts for taking an Italian cooking class, not knowing that she will both impress the appreciative chef with her tasting skills and meet a mysterious younger woman there, Finn Gerard, who will capture her heart and teach her the recipe for love. But Finn is withholding a grim secret and, despite her initial passion, appears unable to commit to Danika fully. Will Danika allow herself to let go and fall in love for the first time in her life, even if there are no guarantees? Even if she must learn to let go?
This complex lesbian romance touches on themes of rediscovery and transformation, showing that while love can be the answer, real healing always starts from within.
Lucy Madison’s latest will appeal to fans of fine, well-crafted lesbian fiction and authors like Caren Werlinger. Readers will enjoy a bonus cookbook section at the back, featuring all the recipes mentioned in the book!
A Recipe For Love by Lucy Madison is a heart-warming and, in a non-traditionally way, an uplifting romance novel with well-developed characterization and a storyline to compliment it. I’m not a huge fan of LGBT fiction, mostly because it mainly focuses on the sexuality of people rather than the story or other conflicts in characters, but thankfully, this book was so much more than your regular lesbian fiction as it concentrated on the story and the character more than the label itself. And that was what I really liked about this book.
I enjoyed reading it and, for me, the best part was the beautiful growth of character of the protagonist, Danika. I feel that her conflicts, both inner and the main story conflict, were explored nicely and as a result, I had a great time reading the story. The writing was well and complimented the story well making this book a light, fun yet a memorable read.
I’d recommend it to all romance lovers. Though people who are not comfortable with lesbian relationships might not like it.
It was a cold, cold day and Emelia was stuck inside her SUV in a snowstorm. It was freezing outside as well as inside. She had been sitting in the car from last 48 hours.
She turned off the heater a while back because she knew the battery of her car won’t last if she’ll keep the heater running for long. According to the reports she heard before getting stuck in this hell, the storm would last for several of days. So far, it had been only 2 days.
The last two days had been the worst days of Emelia’s life, or so she thought. In the initial hours, Emelia refused to believe that she was stuck in the car in the middle of nowhere in a fucking snowstorm. But after a couple of hours when the wind continued howling like a hungry dog and the snow kept falling like there won’t be an end, she realised that she was stuck. Stuck here for good. Soon after this realisation followed panic.
For the next few hours, she cried for help; screaming her lungs out and almost rupturing her vocal cords. She tried to break the glass of her windows, but her fingers were already starting to get numb. Moreover, the glass of her SUV’s windows was not easy to break. This exhausted and frustrated her to no measure. She kept at it but in vain.
Hours later, exhausted, she closed her eyes giving up and that’s when she saw Will smiling at her. The smile she fell in love with, the smile that takes all her worry away, the smile she wanted to go back to. And then it dawned on her that the only thing that will keep her going was hope.
Yes, she can survive this and yes she will make it back. A lot of people do, and that too in much worse situations. So she forced herself to believe that she can too. In spite of the swelling in both her feet and the lower half of her back, in spite of the numbness spreading throughout her arms, she told herself, that it will be over soon.
She tried to focus on the conversation she had with Will just before she left her home – “I need a break, Will. Just a week off from being a wife. I’m tired and you know it. All I’m asking is for you to let me be alone for a few days.”
After a few hours of argument, she was able to convince Will, like she always does, to let her go alone to the Rhode Island. She made him promise to not call her, and knowing that he will, she left her phone at home in the drawer of her study table. How she missed her phone right now. If only she had her phone with her, everything would be fine. Will would come running to rescue her and this nightmare would be over, forever.
But now, that was not possible. Unless someone was stupid enough to leave their home in such a storm and come driving down this stupid forest, that Emelia wanted to explore before driving to The Resort in Rhode Island, no one would know where she was.
She’d been crying a few hours ago, but now crying felt too laborious in such a cold weather. What really scared her though was not the cold that was shutting down her nervous system, or the storm that covered her car with thick snow, or the fact that it was a forest and some big carnivore animal might be lurking around her car. No, she was a strong woman when it came to these things. But what did bother her was the gloom of the sunless sky and the scary sounds the wind was making every time it went swishing around her glass windows. And also, the feeling, deep in the pit of her stomach, that something was terribly wrong, other than this unfortunate situation in which she had landed up, something was not right.
At one point, she thought she heard something, a sort of wailing. But as brave as she was, she still felt fear grip her insides. The glass of her windows was completely covered in fog and snow and it was difficult to see what was outside. She was just able to tell that it was soon turning into night.
The wind was whipping wildly outside, and there it was again. She heard that wailing cacophony again. She sat straighter, and in order to ignore the blood-curdling sound, she started to hum a lullaby that her mother used to sing when she was a child. She tried to literally force herself to sleep, but the cold made it impossible. But the lullaby which she always found comforting, sounded like a death song which was both disturbing and frightening.
All of a sudden there was a loud thud just outside her door. She felt it as much as she heard it as if something heavy hit the door. She tried to peek outside through the frosted glass, but nothing was visible against the grey backdrop of the gloomy dusk. She thought it was some wild animal. Slowly she rose from her seat, and without making any noise shifted to the seat on the passenger side. She was sure that the darkness would conceal her movement.
She tried to calm down her thudding heart telling it that it was nothing but an animal and there was nothing to fear. But when she heard the sobbing of a woman just loud enough to make the hair on her neck rise, she knew, it was no animal. And just then the sobbing turned into a high pitched laughter, so crass and intense that it made Emelia’s teeth chatter.
She looked intently at the glass window on the driving side and thought that she saw a hint of a shadow – a shadow woman with a scarf draped over her head. But only for a second before the outline turned into black smoke and transformed into a shapeless mass.
Frozen, she knew that it was no woman; it was someone else. Someone who is not a living person because no living person will sit and sob and then laugh in the middle of a snowstorm, outside a car that is stuck in the lonely forest in the middle of the night… It was Her, whom no one was supposed to see…
Note: All views and opinions shared in this post are my own.
Please feel free to give your feedback in the comments section below.
Prewar Bradford, England, 1937. A sinful act is perpetrated by a father against his daughter that will alter the lives of three future generations. Rose’s troubled past haunts her forever. Lucy seduces a man of the cloth and has to bear its devastating consequences. Samuel escapes real life and journeys through his own hell to try and find what he has lost. Children are deprived of a normal upbringing. Secrets, when revealed, have a destructive power. These are ordinary people whose lives go full circle in their voyage of self-discovery and who undergo a transformation resulting from an extraordinary existence. Each of them has to overcome his or her tragedy before the realization that great success, or the reaching of one’s own goals, does not give the pleasure, happiness, or satisfaction expected. Ultimately, it is only in the real values of love, understanding, self-sacrifice, and forgiveness that the outcome has to be found.
Eden’s Apple is a moving story about two women that’ll rip your heart apart. It is a story of a mother and daughter who go through their own hells and experience the cruel brutality of the world in times where there was little to no hope for single women.
I started reading this book expecting to read about family drama, but I was taken aback by the sheer realism and the cold brutality that defines this book.
Author Pamela Blake’s narration is extremely powerful and strong. I was so lost in the story that I wasn’t able to think about anything else. The author’s strong narration crippled my senses and made me see the emotions of fear, love, and loss with such acute realism that I was moved deeply.
There were a few issues with the dialogues and conversations, but in front of such powerful writing, everything can be overlooked. The story itself had so much life that it pained me to imagine it to be a piece of fiction.
I liked this book a lot, yet I feel a sense of foreboding thinking about it now. I have so many emotions welling inside of me even after long finishing this story that I have to literally force away some of the things I read in this book. I’ve read only a few books based on the theme of child abuse, but I never imagined any story to have such a lasting impact on me the way this book had.
I’d recommend this book to everyone because of it an exceptional story written brilliantly.
Author: Sharon D. Moore Release Date: September 13, 2016 Series: Under The Shadow Of Almighty Genre: Church fiction Edition: e-book (Kindle) Pages: – Publisher: NewSeason Books
One Shot at Redemption.
When Philly-born playboy, Jason White, discovers a devastating family secret about the identity of his biological father, he launches on an angry quest to find and confront the man. A lengthy investigation into his father, a prominent pastor of a large church in North Carolina, spurs a quick, covert, out-of-town visit to the pastor’s church on Easter Sunday. Will Jason follow through on his desire to destroy the man he believes left him alone and in poverty?
In Raleigh, North Carolina, the greedy and lecherous Bishop Quincy Stewart’s less than discreet history of deceit and all around messiness is threatened with complete exposure when he loses control over his manufactured persona. A chance encounter and life-changing lunch unlocks the chains holding Stewart’s wife, Lucy, hostage and sets the stage for a much needed shift in her life. In a desperate act to break his wife’s spirit and force her into compliance, Bishop Stewart does the unthinkable. Will Bishop Stewart go down for his horrific actions? Will Lucy ever be set free from the pain he has caused her?
The Camelot-like existence of popular and honorable Bishop James Collins becomes shrouded in an indefinable dark cloud when his wife, Victoria, invites an unstable element into their lives. Will Bishop Collins overcome being blindsided by the ugly truths he’s forced to face or will his life and ministry be forever changed?
I’m not a Christian, so the fact that I enjoyed reading Hidden In Plain Sight Sharon Moore says a lot.
I loved reading this right from the beginning till the very end. I especially enjoyed reading about Pastors and Bishops as it was a really unique experience for me. I’m generally a reader of thrillers, mysteries and dark fiction, but reading this beautiful book was a great change in pace and I enjoyed it for the very same reason.
The writing was really good and had a really easy flow that made this book a surprisingly quick read. The plot had a unique simplicity and a depth that made reading this even more enjoyable. I was drawn into this book right from the beginning and was left craving for more at the end. It ended perfectly and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end this amazing story.
The characterisation is good too. All the characters were believable I found myself caring for most of them. This book made me feel a range of emotions that I wasn’t expecting – happy at times and sad at the others, and t was mostly due to the brilliant characterisation.
The plot was excellent and the execution (per say) was brilliant. Author Sharon Moore has done a great job, especially considering that this is her first novel. I am definitely going to read more books by her.
I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this series (and I really hope that the I get to read it soon!)
I’d recommend to everyone who wants to read a nice cozy book.
Sabrina aka “Bean” may seem like an average teen, but she has an over average sense of doing what’s right and sticking up for herself and those around her. She always speaks her mind and stands up for what she believes in — no matter who she comes up against. Bean squares off against mean teachers, bullies, and cheating soccer coaches while learning that the best thing to be is true to yourself no matter what. Her adventures take her from the halls of middle school to the the fields of soccer camp with never a dull moment in between. Sit back, relax, and read up. Wherever Bean goes, adventure follows.
I really enjoyed reading Call Me Bean by James Mossor. This book is a really quick and a thoroughly fun read. I literally breezed through it in less than an hour – it was that good!
The character of Sabrina is created beautifully, and being a girl I was able to relate to her on so many levels. The author created the main character, Sabrina aka Bean, like a typical teen girl who needs to show everyone how strong she is all the while being a soft-hearted and a teeny bit scared from the inside. The portrayal is so beautiful that I still can’t get her out of my head.
This book is written in diary entry format and tells us about the weekly happenings in Sabrina’s adventurous life. All the stories are thoroughly entertaining, yet at the same time, they spread a beautiful message of believing in who you are, being true to yourself and standing up for the right things.
The author’s writing is really good and, as a result, the story flowed beautifully. The humorous style added another layer to this book making it even more interesting and enjoyable.
This book will be a perfect fit for pre-teens and teens alike. I’d recommend it to all the parents as well because I’m sure Sabrina will successfully win over everyone.
BlogBattle is a weekly short story challenge in which participants write short stories using a single word for inspiration.You can visit the BB’s blog to find out more about it: Blogbattle: Inspired To Write.
The smell of his sweat repels me. The sweat-soaked hair under his arms makes me want to gag. They touch my cheek even when he doesn’t move. But I can’t let this repulsion show on my face. I have no strength to fight with him anymore tonight.
I love him, I remind myself for the thousandth time tonight. I love him. It’ll all get over soon.
I turn my face slowly and look at his face trying to understand what’s going through his mind. He looks shabby and I miss those days when he used to shave and take bath every day (or every other day at least.) He’s turned into someone else entirely. Someone I don’t know. Someone I don’t want to know.
He laughs at something making an animal sound that starts from his stomach and vibrates in his throat. Sitting this close to him I can feel it when his laugh rises from his belly and comes out of his mouth like he’s throwing up, spittle flying in the air.
I feel his rough stubble on my forehead and try to wiggle out of his suffocating half-embrace. He looks at me annoyed and tightens his grips. He looks at me for a minute before smirking and turning back to the TV.
I can feel the remains of his stale breath on my face. I exhale deeply and try to calm down my nerves. I love him and deep down somewhere he loves me too.
I try to console myself, but when I think about what he’s become I can’t stop the tears from welling up in my eyes. And in that moment I hate myself. I begin to loathe what I’ve done, regretting the decision of leaving Ben and Adam for this bastard.
But I will not run away this time because this is what I deserve for leaving my baby and my loving husband behind.
Please note: This is a work of fiction.
Any resemblance to any person or thing is purely coincidental.
BlogBattle is a weekly short story challenge in which participants write short stories using a single word for inspiration.You can visit the BB’s blog to find out more about it: Blogbattle: Inspired To Write.
I set my cup of tea down on the table careful not to spill it on the white cloth beneath it and, taking a deep breath, I say after gathering myself, “It’s not as easy as you think, Mom.”
“But it is,” She puts her cup down too and leans forward in her seat, “Look, Jess, I know the past year has been really tuff on you – first the accident, then Rick’s affair and then this,” she waves a hand at my belly and continues as if she’s not talking about her only daughter miscarrying her 6 weeks old unborn child, but simply making an observation about a filthy sack full of crap.
Looking at me she sighs heavily and continues, “But sweetie this is not how you deal with your problems. You can’t just take a break from your life and isolate yourself.” Adding more sugar to her tea, she continues, “You need to keep yourself busy. These things are not that significant dear. look at the bigger picture.”
When I start to protest, she raises a hand and continues her lecture, “All I’m saying is at least try to do something that’ll keep you busy and help you to get your mind off of such things.”
The clinking noise of her spoon makes it difficult for me to maintain a straight face. I start tapping my feet first slowly, then intensely and try to sound nonchalant, “And what exactly do you mean by ‘such things’?”
She looks up at me and furrows her brows for a second and then reclaiming her calm exterior she says, “You know what I mean, your accident, Rick’ betrayal, the baby and your failures on the whole.”
Unable to contain my anger any longer, my voice rises a notch, “My failures? What the hell do you mean by my failures?”
She sips her tea calmly and after patting her mouth with the napkin she says, “I didn’t mean to offend you, Jessie. It’s just a manner of speaking.”
The patting of my feet grows so intense that it starts to hurt me, “Seriously, mom?”
“What?” she says shrugging.
I pick up the spoon next to my cup and start pouring sugar in my coffee not wanting to fall for my mom’s sick game.
“Say something, Jessie. I came all the way here just to talk to you and this is how you treat me?”
I stop pouring sugar in my cup and tighten my grip on the spoon’s handle,”Stop it, Mom. Please. Just stop it!”
She sits straighter, making it clear that she disapproves my tone and says, “No, you stop it, Jessie. You need to face it. We both know that you’re blaming yourself for Rick’s affair. So say as much and be done with it. You can’t feel guilty forever.”
“No, that is so not the case, Mom. I’m not guilty of anything! He cheated on me not because I wasn’t good enough for him, but because he is a worthless piece of shit who doesn’t know what loyalty is. So please don’t go there because that’s really not the case.”
“Oh, but I know that this is exactly what’s troubling you.”
“Oh, so now you are what? A break-up specialist?”
“Well, considering my experiences I think you can call me that.”
Unable to contain the storm brewing inside me I look at her and fixing her with a glare I say gritting my teeth, “Stop it already. You’re doing it again.”
“What am I doing?”
Giving up, I get up with a jerk, pushing the chair behind me, and throw the napkin on the table, “Nothing.”
“Don’t you stomp off in front of me Jessie. I am your mother.”
I stop in my tracks and turning around I try to bite back the words that form in my mouth, but knowing her as well as I do, I let the words out of my mouth, “You’re again getting it all wrong, Mom. And that’s why I was trying to avoid meeting you in the first place. You just love assuming things. You don’t even try to find out what’s really wrong. All you know is to make others feel miserable for all the things that are going wrong in their life.”
“No. That is absurd!”
“Yeah? Well, tell this to someone who hasn’t spend 20 years of their lives living with you under the same roof.”
“That’s enough. I’m leaving.”
“Good for you. And please don’t bother checking up on me after today, because I won’t be staying here anymore.”
She gets up from her chair and throwing her purse over her shoulder she says, “Why? Is this place not good enough for you now that I know where you are?”
I shake my head and release a long breath.
“At least tell your old mother where she can find you in case if there’s an emergency or something.”
“Well, you won’t be calling me in any kind of emergency if you knew where I’ll be.”
She turns around and looks me in the eyes, “Where are you going, Jessie?”
“I’m going to Dewar.”
Her mouth falls open and she turns red. Throwing her off guard this way, even for a minute, makes me feel so much better. She quickly regains her cold composure and narrows her eyes at me as if I’m a 4-year-old girl, “And might I ask where will you be staying?”
She studies my face for a long time and then quietly makes a beeline for the door but before leaving, she stops abruptly and turns around, “Goodbye, Jessie. I hope you have a great time with your father.”
She spits out the words so ferociously that it feels more like “Rot in hell with your father,” which, I think, is exactly what she wanted to say.
You can read the previous parts of Jessie: Story About A Girl series here: