I'm a late starter in the world of Indie publishing. I published my first novel, Leap the Wild Water, in March of this year at the ripe age of fifty-five. I've been creatively writing for years but this was the first novel I'd written which I felt was worthy of publication. I live in the wilds of Wales, a landscape which is little changed from the 19th century era in which Leap the Wild Water is set. Fortunately, unlike the landscape, life is very different now from the way it was back then, especially for women. In the past, the majority of women suffered great hardship and inequality, and were subject to blatant sexual double standards. Women were rendered powerless by the religious doctrine and cultural beliefs of the time, much as they still are in many parts of the world. Women who dared to break the rules were often cruelly punished, not only by larger society but also by their own families. Maybe its because I came from a large family of ten children, but I've always been intrigued by the ways in which society impacts on individual lives. This interest is reflected in my writing. In the main, I blog about how life used to be for rural people; discoveries I made while researching my novel. I also blog reviews about books I've found outstanding.
Leap the Wild Water
There are some people for whom I have nothing but admiration and deep respect; the author of this memoir is one of them. This lady is the mould-breaker in a family which would send most girls on a downward spiral to life-long ruin. But just look what she made of herself, despite the grinding poverty, neglect and abuse of her childhood. The author is a testament to the resilience and fortitude of the human spirit.
Kimberly grew up with an abusive, violent, alcoholic father, and a mother so misguided and besotted with him that she chose to stay with him rather than protect her children.
Kimberly's childhood, if you could call it such, was a family war-zone, constantly disrupted; by violent and abusive outbursts; moving from one place to another; and her father's binges and womanising. Irresponsible doesn't begin to describe her parent's behaviour. They not only failed to love and nurture their children, but projected all their own faults and demons onto them, as so many do who cannot face their own reflections in the mirror.
Kimberly it was who bore the brunt of her father's humiliating beatings (which were sexual abuse, but Kimberly was too young and innocent to recognise it for what it was). Kimberly was also the main target of her mother's wrath and criticism.
Most of us want better lives for our children, but not Kimberly's mother. She led Kimberly down the path of marriage at the tender age of 15, even though her own experience gave her no reason to recommend marriage to anyone.
Kimberly had no role-models, no words of wisdom passed down from mother to daughter. So Kimberly blindly went where her mother led, into the marriage bed of a man too old and unworthy of her.
The instability of her childhood left her rebounding and stumbling from one bad marriage to another with nothing but a hope and a prayer to guide her towards the love and care she'd been searching for all her young life. Until, something happened.....
But you know, this author speaks with no taste of bitterness on her tongue. It is one of the stand-out, remarkable things about this touching story, along with her determination to seek to understand and forgive, and a deep and intelligent level of self-awareness. That is what makes her and her book unique and an inspiration to others. And she can write well, so well I feel like I have known her and trod her path beside her.
This lady dug deep and found a diamond within herself; a diamond wrought from the hardest of times. Recommended read.
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