Thursday, May 10, 2012

Book Review: Call Me Tuesday

Title of Book:  Call Me Tuesday
Author:  Leigh Byrne
Published: February 15, 2012 by Create Space
Available:  Amazon, Nook, Smashwords

This is a book which is difficult to read at times - for the pain in the writing is so poignant and artfully expressed. A pain that most people would probably want to forget and leave behind. But the author knows that she has a story to tell, a story that needs to be told, so that others may be spared the trauma that Tuesday went through. Which requires remarkable courage, in going through it all - not once, but twice - this second time page by written page.

We usually view motherhood as something sacred, but in “Call Me Tuesday” motherhood is anything but that. The book begins with a pivotal event, where her mother appears as an inhuman monster and Tuesday is at the height of her despair. We are then taken back to a much earlier time, when her mother was still a loving parent and Tuesday had not yet been robbed of her childhood. This is skilfully done, for we know that at some point in the book, we will reach that point again. But for now, it is for us to try and put the pieces together, in such a way that may somehow explain the change in her mother, and in her life. And as we go through a journey of mental and physical abuse together with Tuesday, witnessing the world through her eyes, we are unable to find the answers. Even after Tuesday has managed to break free, neither she nor we are any closer to understanding how such a thing can happen.

For how can a mother abuse her child? Day by day, year by year. Mothers are supposed to protect their children, care for them and nurture them. Children trust and believe in their parents, and when a parent turns on them, the child is helpless, with nowhere to turn. In most cases, the people nearby: neighbours, relatives, teachers... sense that something is wrong, but do nothing to help, perhaps not wanting to believe that such things are possible. And even now, I am sure that there are people who read this book and rationalize it away as being a solitary case. But the truth is, this is becoming much too common. Perhaps it has always been this widespread, and only now, in the digital age when new avenues of communication open up to us, it is much more difficult to keep such things hidden. Hopefully books, like this one, will encourage others to speak up, have the courage and support to unveil these dark secrets.

The book is very well written. We see Tuesday's world totally through her own eyes. The detailed descriptions of her surroundings effortlessly blend into the running plot and we are carried along, not able to put the book down - not wanting to hear more at times for it becomes almost too difficult to hear - but having to see it through, for we have come too close to Tuesday's inner turmoil than to desert her now.

Perhaps another testament to the strength of Tuesday’s character is the fact that she can still feel love for her mother, despite all that has happened to her. Maybe we need to learn from her. I, for one, think I could never be that forgiving.

I hope that others will read this book and learn from it. And that those in dire need of help will come upon it and through it find strength. And that
Tuesday, after breaking free and setting out on a new beginning, will now live a happy life.


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