"Telling Sonny": A Review

When nineteen-year-old Faby attends the annual Vaudeville Show in her small town, she is hoping to escape to the drudgery of day-to-day life in the Gauthier household, where chores are watched over by the critical eye of Maman and Maman Aurore. The year is 1924, the setting small town Vermont, USA, and even though she’s been attending these fanfares since she was seven, Faby has no idea that this particular show is about to change her life.

“Telling Sonny” is the first published book of author Elizabeth Gauffreau. I’ve had the honour of meeting and communicating with Elizabeth through her blog, so was excited to read her work.

“Telling Sonny” reads like an historical memoir, the descriptive details effectively capture the ambiance of the era. As a reader, I felt myself swept up in the emotions of the story: fearing for Faby, wishing she’d assert more on her own behalf, frustrated by the helplessness of her situation.

Gauffreau’s gift is the ability to create an animated portrait of a bygone era and pair it with a timeless issue, culminating in a suspenseful and satisfying read.

I’d recommend “Telling Sonny” as a book club selection.

Well done, Liz!

Lines Lead

Easily swayed, my imagination
follows lines, dreams of new horizons

spins and traces unknown spaces

speculates about what might have been…

(For Lens-Artists Challenge: Leading Lines)

V.J.'s Weekly Challenge #80: habit

“Be careful of the habits you make,” my father used to lecture, cigarette in one hand, whiskey in the other. “They will either make of you a slave or a master.”

Of course, I had no idea what he was talking about, and I hated that his sermons were always: “Do what I say, not what I do!”

Slave, master…such nonsense to a kid who just wanted to play and had no obligations.

I tried the bottle, and smoked just to spite him – neither habit stuck. I vowed not to be like him. Funny enough, that didn’t work out very well either. Luckily, Dad modelled some good habits too – always rose early, started with a good breakfast, kept physically fit, and had a stellar work ethic.

And he kept his personal struggles to himself.

“No need to take your bad mood out on everyone else,” he’d say as he strode out the door ready to take on the world.

He was a motivator of men, my father. People lined up at his funeral to tell me how he had changed their lives. I wasn’t sure they were talking about the same man that raised us with such a tyrannical fist. Obviously, my father’s habits helped him master the external, and reduced him to a slave in his private life.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about my father’s words and questioning my habits – not just the easily detectable, but what lies behind them. Sure, I have a tendency to snack at bedtime, but why? How does this serve me? Am I eating because I’m really hungry? Seldom? Then what emotion/ need/ lacking am I stuffing back down?

This week, I invite you to join me in thinking about the habits that either enslave or empower your life. As always, interpret the challenge as you will.

To participate, create a post and then link back here, or drop the url to your post in the comments below. Look forward to your responses.

Subtract Expectations, Open to Possibility

The snow has been falling all day, filling in the roads behind the plow’s efforts. I am a bit of wreck as I write this. Tomorrow, I am planning a surprise party for Ric’s 70th birthday. The hall is booked, and I’ve delegated all the pieces, but the guest list is shrinking as people are reluctant to travel in this weather.

When you read this, I will be recovering from the day’s activities.

For now, I am consciously subtracting expectations, and adding trust. As far as I know, Ric has no idea.

Wish us well.

***

I love the responses to this week’s challenge. We really are a creative community.

To That Place Again, parallax

2-1= 1, I Write Her

Holiday Aftermath, Eugi’s Causerie

Subtraction, THE BAG LADY

Yearning, Culture Shocks

Fragility of Aging, Stuff and what is…

Untangling Roots, CURATING THOUGHTS

No Worries, one letter UP

Two Minus One, Sgeoil

Subtraction, AWISEWOMANSJOURNEY

Thank you all! See you tomorrow for a new challenge.