When Ties Break: A Memoir About How to Thrive After Loss
Every family is unique and different—the ties that bind the members together will oft tear at the heart. When Margaret Norton is banished from her family by her older brother, following her beloved father’s funeral, she falls into an abyss of depression, from which she never fully recovers. In this first publication, the author shares her history of losses, dejection, failures, and disappointments with the expectation that her example of overcoming these hurdles will assist others to cope with the traumas of life.
As the youngest daughter of a Pentecostal minister, she felt the love and also the discipline of an authoritarian father. Constantly feeling “on the outside looking in,” her self-esteem shattered by physical and financial problems throughout the years, she considers herself a failure. But despite a series of unsuccessful marriages, disappointing relationships, financial hardships, and the agonizing rejection of her family, Margaret succeeds in caring for her two children, earning a college degree, finding employment, and gaining emotional support from her colleagues at work. After completing a Dale Carnegie course in public speaking, she radiantly exclaims that she’s living proof that shyness, insecurity, and fear of public speaking can be overcome. Trials and tribulations continue as the author compares her ordeals to the travails that afflicted Job. Family members, her beloved sister and, finally, her irate older brother, as well as close colleagues are claimed by incurable illnesses. Her daughter requires rehabilitation for cocaine addiction and also initiates her into understanding and accepting non-traditional sexual orientation within her family. Throughout these events, her faith in God provides continuing sustenance. Recording the painful incidents that assaulted her over the years works as a balm to soothe the wounds.
Here she chronicles, sometimes awkwardly, often with repetition, and occasionally with contradictions her perceptions of life’s impact and how she rebounded to the blows. Deeper character development on those influencing her decisions would have enriched the narrative. While describing her drowsiness as a school child at the beginning of the book, the connection is only made toward the final chapters, when she discloses she suffers from a form of narcolepsy termed “hypersomnolence,” its effect, unfortunately, is not further developed.
As a novice author, many of her metaphors slip into awkward clichés. This memoir will appeal to those readers who feel troubled and seek solace in reading about the travails of survivors and want to learn how to thrive again after loss.
Chris Hayden has been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.
|Page Count||260 pages|
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|Category||Biographies & Memoirs|