Abuse or an uncertain future. This is Laurel Lee Page’s choice when she is faced with an unplanned pregnancy at 19. Born into a broken family, all she has ever known is guilt and shame. No matter what she does or who she meets, Laurel appears to be living a condemned life but she is determined to find independence and freedom in spite of her family’s legacy of hatred and self-contempt.
The setting of the 1960’s sets the tone, Vietnam War, JFK Assassination, views on sex and social propriety along with family dynamics, the turbulent times permeate the air with unmistakable tension.
I admire authors broaching delicate and often piercing subject matter. Having abuse the apex of the narrative is not easily accomplished, however, Leipold demonstrates capability.
Leipold brings abuse – sexual, emotion and mental to the forefront without a multitude of graphic details, instead, forceful seeds are planted leaving a clear indicator of the horrific acts and damage occurring in this broken family.
“But God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. He’ll put us through the fire a few times, so we get a little burnt around the edges, but all in all, we come out fine.”
The characters leave the reader filled with loathing and love. Laurel’s parents fill you with disgust and rage, questioning how on earth a parent can do the unthinkable, leaving you deeply affected. Being a mother, I was appalled and astonished by Laurel’s mothers reaction and behavior, absolutely insane. Sadly parents and families such as the Page’s exist, damaging innocent children forever and this is where the narrative and Laurel really hit home, this story is reality for some.
Laurel, needless to say, steals your heart from the beginning. A girl living in fear, suffering the inconceivable, entering an abyss of darkness. Her strength stealth, as she manages to forge on and carve a life for herself. Her ability to forgive and stand her ground is inspiring. She is the better person than any of her family members. For all Laurel endures you want nothing more for her to find her ultimate happiness.
A bittersweet story of one compelling young woman’s strength, determination and ability to forgive at the hand of the inconceivable, a woman resolved in breaking the cycle of abuse.
Paperback, 190 pages
Published October 21st 2014 by CreateSpace
A copy provided in exchange for an honest review