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How does it feel to live in a household with two loving parents? Or in a home embedded with abuse and subsequently, fear? What does it feel like to grow up and not know your father? What does it feel like to crave your mother's time and affection? What does it feel like to hate? To Love? To Lose? For this circle of friends - comprised of Paris, Lonnie, CoCo, Rachel and Shanice - the answers are soul-stirring. My Soul Fainted Within Me is a startling debut novel by Shonda that takes readers, young and old alike, on a "coming of age," decade-long journey like no other. Discussion questions are included at the back of the book.
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Shonda is a graduate-level business professional who currently resides in the Midwest. To learn more about Shonda, visit her website at http://www.shondasbookshelf.com or e-mail her at Shonda@shondasbookshelf.comExcerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
"Come on, Paris. It’s time to go," Chrystal said as she tugged on my raincoat.
"Just a minute, Chrystal. Okay? Better yet, why don’t you go ahead and ride home with Mama. I’ll be there in a few minutes." Chrystal gave me a hug and then ran to catch up with the other mourning friends and family members as they walked to their cars.
I wasn’t ready to leave yet. My heart wouldn’t allow me to turn my back on Lonnie’s grave. My head was hurting something fierce. And my tears wouldn’t stop falling. I wanted to scream and pound my fists against the casket. I wanted to cuss God out for taking my best friend away from me.
In all my years of friendship with Lonnie, I can honestly say Lonnie never did anything bad to anybody. She went to church every Sunday. Sometimes she went to more than one service in one day. She prayed all the time—about everything. Hell, Lonnie would even pray for a spider if she accidentally stepped on it. She didn’t cuss. She didn’t drink. And to top it all off, she was still a virgin! She was a saint. An angel. Maybe you needed another angel up there, huh Father? Especially with all us sinners down here on earth. Yeah, Lonnie would make a good angel. But Father, don’t you know I need that particular angel down here on earth with me? What am I going to do without her?
Am I being selfish? Maybe. But so what if I am! Lonnie and I have been friends since we were eight years old. Do you hear me? Eight years old! That’s a long time! We were supposed to grow old together and tell our grandchildren stories from our youth. We were supposed to be the maid-of-honor in each other’s wedding. We were supposed to do a lot of things together, but I guess none of that matters now. It’s not going to happen. Lonnie is dead.
As the thunder rumbled and lightning raced across the sky, I looked up and saw the sky turning a wicked greenish-grey color and I swear I saw devils, demons and monsters fighting. Without thinking, I grabbed a rose from Lonnie’s casket and ran to the car. When I reached the car, I unlocked the door and slid behind the wheel. Then, I just sat there for a moment. I watched the raindrops hit the windshield and for a brief moment, I felt like they were slapping me on my face. While the raindrops didn’t necessarily hurt or sting, they were screaming at me to accept Lonnie’s death and try to move on. But each time a raindrop would hit the windshield, and consequently, my face, it would quickly run away, merge with other raindrops and eventually, disappear. I took it’s disappearance as cowardice. Therefore, I didn’t have to do a damn thing.
I started the car, looked at the clock and realized time had passed right by me. How long did I stand by Lonnie’s graveside? If I didn’t get to Mama’s house soon, they’d be worried sick about me. They probably already were.
I glanced over at Lonnie’s grave one more time, but certainly not the last, before I slowly pulled away from the curb. Mama’s house wasn’t too far from the cemetery—fifteen minutes at the most. As I headed toward the freeway, the rain began to come down even harder and my visibility was cut down to nothing. The way the clouds were rolling across the sky, I was almost positive a tornado was coming—it was certainly the right time of year for it.
There wasn’t any sense in my being foolish and trying to drive in this mess, so I decided to pull over. Even though I couldn’t see enough to drive, I could see I wasn’t the only one who had enough sense to pull over and wait for this high energy storm to pass.
As I sat there waiting for the rain to slow down and the sky to find peace, the exhaustion I had been trying to suppress for the past week finally overcame me. My body ached and it seemed like my eyes were weighted down with sand. After several minutes of fighting oncoming sleep, I decided to go ahead and let my eyes rest for a while. I just needed to close my eyes for a couple of minutes. Then, I’d be just fine...
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Book Description AuthorHouse. Paperback. Condition: VERY GOOD. Light rubbing wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or notations in margins not affecting the text. Possible clean ex-library copy, with their stickers and or stamp(s). Seller Inventory # 2753209738
Book Description AuthorHouse, 2004. Paperback. Condition: Used: Good. Seller Inventory # SONG1418498467