Fiction Jennifer Lauck Still Waters

ISBN 13: 9780349115139

Still Waters

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9780349115139: Still Waters

Separated from her brother Bryan, and passed from caretaker to caretaker, Jenny discovers -- as she rebels her way through high school and into adulthood -- that the past can never be truly locked away forever. She survived the stunning traumas of a lost childhood, but survival may not be a way of life. Now the secrets, lies and loneliness that once imprisoned her are brought into sharp focus, where an adult Jenny can make her peace at last. But one more mystery demands her attention: the quiet troubled soul of Bryan, who, lacking the inner strength of the survivor, chooses a sad and sorrowful destiny. And Jenny must dig deep to find the one bond that held them through the years, and the one reason any of us have for enduring; love.

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Review:

Readers who breathed a sigh of relief at the end of Blackbird, when 12-year-old orphan Jennifer Lauck was rescued from an abusive stepmother, will have to grit their teeth all over again for the second volume of her memoirs. Jennifer is adopted by her father's sister Peggy and her husband Dick Duemore: he's bullying and mean; she means well but doesn't want to hear anything negative and responds with cold anger to Jennifer's unwanted confidences and insufficiently cheerful behavior. She never feels wanted in a house where she seems valued only for the chores she performs---never well enough for Mom and Dad (as the Duemores insist she call them after the adoption), who remind her constantly how grateful she should be. In prose as stark as if it had been scraped with a scalpel, Lauck recounts an adolescence scarred by lovelessness and haunted by unfinished emotional business from her parents' deaths and separation from her older brother, Bryan. She's honest about her rage and inability to trust: we see her rejecting a sweet high school boyfriend and holding Bryan at arm's length during two brief reunions. Bryan's suicide is a low point, but it starts the healing process; she leaves a failing marriage, and the happiness she finds with her second husband helps her come to terms with her past. No one reading this pitiless book will think Lauck has forgiven the relatives whose lies and selfishness had such disastrous consequences for her and Bryan; she's bitter and she has reason to be. "I know there is a power to anger, the kind of power that helps you survive," she muses in a crucial passage that shows her moving on to acknowledge the necessity of "pulling [anger] back in order to make room for the good things like love and understanding and joy." --Wendy Smith

From the Inside Flap:

When there is a shortage of men during World War II in a rural Michigan town, Myrtle decides to become a preacher. She ministers to her community with wit, wisdom, a practical approach and insights far ahead of her time. But when the war ends, Myrtle must look to her close-knit family for support, as she battles small-town preconceptions that stand in the way of her continuing ministry. A Victory Gardens Theater co-production. An L.A. Theatre Works full cast performance featuring: Meg Thalken as Myrtle Barbara June Patterson as Daisy Mary Mulligan as Bernadette Tim Sheridan as Eli Nancy Lollar as Charlotte Deanna Dunagan as Gertie Joe D. Lauck as Tom Larry Neumann Jr. as Orvis Directed by Sandy Shinner. Recorded before a live audience at the Guest Quarters Suite Hotel, Chicago in April of 1992.

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