Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Author's Spotlight

Yes, it is I, your lovable book junkie (among other things) writing after a five month hiatus. Why was I away for so long? Let's just assume that I was in hibernation mode from last semester. Now things are going very well. Wanted to let the cyber world that I'm still kicking. Now that we have cleared our bases let's get to the good stuff shall we?

                                                              Author's Spotlight

Several months ago, I was browzing in the new books section of the library when I stumbled upon "Lies My Mother Never Told Me" by Kaylie Jones. She writes about growing up in Paris with her father, award winning author James Jones (From Here to Eternity), her socialite mother Gloria, and her brother Jamie whom was adopted. Her world came crashing down with the death of her father and it didn't help if her mother was emotionally abusive. She writes about her struggles with alcholism, her deterorating relationship with Gloria, and how she found solace in books. Her strength and the courage to plow on when life got hard, brought me to my knees.

I had the honor of meeting Kaylie Jones at Books & Books on March 1st. She was very sweet and friendly when I gushed about her memoir and reading her novel "Celeste Acsending". In between chapters, Kaylie writes about the stories Gloria told to friends and family. One of the most touching moments in the book was the birth of her daughter, Eryna. As she read the passage, I was moved to tears. Motherhood was Kaylie's turning point in her life that made a huge difference.

After the event, I browzed the bookshelfs crying silently. The two years of endless sorrow and depression came flooding back into my memory. Kaylie saw me crying and I told her about Miles and my struggles with mental illness. She completely understood my anguish and told me something that I will never forget: It's good to cry and to reaching out to others. I realised that my isolation had made things worse, not better. Even the very best of us need help. As I was leaving, Kaylie hugged me warmly that I burst into tears once more.

When I think about that night, I still get tears in my eyes. Kaylie's battle with alcohol, Gloria, and her demons restored an elusive hope I have been searching for. The courage she showed during her darkest hours made me believe that the human spirit can weather any storm. I consider "Lies My Mother Never Told Me" a treasure that everyone has to read. To Kaylie, I say this: Thank you for sharing your story. And for touching so many people, like myself.

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