Is There Any Love Down Back?
Who watches over those who’ve been left without family or support? Alexander O’Neil shares his cruel childhood experience in his memoir Is There Any Love Down Back?: The Four Boys, through which he exposes the inhumane conditions he and other children were forced to endure growing up, their lives utterly absent of true love and compassion.
Four boys have been abandoned and thus placed in multiple foster homes with the hope that they’ll be able to find their place in a loving family. Unfortunately, the foster care system has produced more horror stories than fairytales. Straight to the point and in minute detail, the author reveals what usually goes behind many of the closed doors of these foster homes. Encountering emotional and physical abuse, the children go through every new family with little hope of finding a place that will provide them with the care and nurture they so desperately need and that life has unfairly stripped away from them from the earliest of ages. To answer this, they try to find support in one another, protecting and providing for each other when needed, fighting back against the cruel treatment given by the darkest of human nature.
From the very beginning, Alexander’s story demands the reader’s attention. Through his concise accounts, he illustrates the severe and inexcusable conditions in which many children have to spend their entire childhoods as they beg for a place to belong. Heart-wrenching, the book is brutal because of the reality that carries inside its pages. Through each new chapter, the reader can reflect on the state of the foster care system that leaves children to their own luck and often even brings them closer to the utmost dangerous and abusive situations.
Is There Any Love Down Back?: The Four Boys by Alexander O’Neil is a heartbreaking memoir of the life many faces in the foster care system. Reading the stories of those who’ve had to deal with such harsh conditions is incredibly important. Through stories like the ones exposed in this book, the reader will be able to understand and empathize with the circumstances that many out there are forced to endure, guiding them to keep an eye out for those around them that are most vulnerable and therefore run the risk of being taken advantage of. Yet, the darkest of situations still hold some light in them, no matter how small, and the innocent charity displayed by such young children is an excellent example of that.
Pages: 160 | ISBN : 1648032605
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
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Camel from Kyzylkum
In this memoir, the author narrates her life journey as an immigrant, a mother, a grandmother, and an independent woman from Ukraine to the Kyzylkum Desert of Uzbekistan (then a part of the Soviet Union), through Austria and Italy, all the way to the United States. Standing as a testament to her indomitable spirit and sheer willpower, the book tells us an inspiring tale of grit and endurance in the face of unforgettable hardships. Using a simple and engaging tone, Lara speaks about her own diverse experiences and leaves the readers spellbound with her quest for a better life.
Written during the pandemic year, this memoir is a genuinely heartwarming account of the various challenges the author faced and overcame during her life. Although one can argue about the linearity of the plot structure, a rough chronology is followed throughout the story, most of which flows uninterrupted in the form of flashbacks. This particular characteristic of the narrative makes it seem almost like a diary, recording the various emotional upheavals of the author’s journey rather than the individual events themselves.
Lara describes her personal ordeals with surprising candor. Starting with her process of immigration, her struggle to re-establish herself in a foreign country, and her effort to learn the new language. Readers then learn of her constant fight to bring her daughter from the Soviet Union to join her and the painful break from her family. She was left feeling betrayed and filled with grief. To finally accept reality and reach towards other sources of fulfillment, we accompany her on her travels and witness each phase of her life as they shape the person she has become today.
But unlike memoirs of great people, who always seem to be placed on a pedestal and therefore seem detached from our lives, Lara’s story touches us deeply because we can empathize with her. This is the story of an ordinary person like us. A woman who got uprooted from her birthplace and was forced to leave behind everything she knew as her own to try and build her future in a strange land surrounded by unknown people. Yet, ultimately, what makes it inspiring is that it is a story about never giving up.
Pages: 191 | ASIN : B09Y7GTZQS
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
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A Caregiver’s Love Story
A Caregiver’s Love Story is an awe-inspiring memoir by Nancie Wiseman Attwater. This passionate story goes into detail about her and her husband’s life together throughout the good and the bad, sickness and health, just like they promised each other the day they said I do.
Bill and Nancie grew up and lived very different lives until they met. From a young age, Bill was a curious child who grew into a hardworking, accomplished lawyer. On the other hand, Nancie had a rough upbringing with her father dying when she was just 4 years old and her mother, who wasn’t around much. Years went by before life would bring them together in Nancie’s store. They would go on to marry and live a life full of changes and growth, as any marriage does. Bill started experiencing health problems, including lung disease and dementia, so Nancie took on the role of primary caregiver.
This extraordinary book is much more than just a captivating memoir of two people who have a deep love and care for one another. This book also serves as a guide for others who are experiencing similar situations. Attwater covers various health issues, treatments, and helpful tips on specific devices to use to help your loved ones get around. The author also shares with readers the toll that her husband’s health issues took on her as she dealt with loneliness and exhaustion.
This relatable read contains a substantial amount of helpful information for caregivers and for those in the health field. The author’s tone throughout her novel is loving and conversational, as I felt the genuine love that she had for her husband. Towards the end of the memoir, I felt connected to Nancie and Bill because I knew so much about their childhood, adulthood, and retirement years.
Attwater shares her personal story with us and touches readers’ hearts, making this one read that is hard to put down. A Caregiver’s Love Story is an excellent read for anyone interested in a heartwarming memoir.
Pages: 254 | ASIN : B0B1VYJZFK
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
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