About the Book:
Marge Marksmen lives in a world beyond her control. As the widow of a once struggling traveling vacuum salesman, Marge faces motherhood in a single-wide trailer in the mid-eighties, barely able to keep her teenage daughter in line, not to mention her autistic son. She lives retreated within herself, having once given life a second chance with a new man and a new job, only to have both taken away savagely by the hands of a stranger one summer evening in the seventies. Marge has since convinced herself that God is not to be trusted, relying on her weekly welfare checks and political affiliation to keep her afloat.
Clay is not afraid to write about serious subjects. This novel includes autism, racial prejudice, homosexuality, single motherhood from extramarital sex and difficult family relationships. She is great at exploring the feelings of broken and dysfunctional people. The characters in this novel are well developed.
Clay is a word smith and is very creative in the use of language. Generally that makes for a captivating read. I felt, on occasion, the creativity was too much. One example, “The feeling was an overwhelming sweep that must have been residing in the same dirty corners as all her other emotions.” (1294/3662) That sentence is evidence of Clay's creativity yet I have no idea what an “overwhelming sweep” is. Another area where the writing style was distracting is in the chapter divisions. An example was Chapter 19 featuring Stacey. Chapter 20 begins with “she” sentences but it is not until well into the paragraph we find that Marge is now the female of reference.
This is an engaging novel exploring the choices people make how God can redeem the damage and provide a future. Clay's writing style may be distracting at times but the overall work is engaging.
About the Author:
She's working on a new book project called Letters to My Former Self, an epistolary memoir that features letters she's writing as a believer to the old her, an atheist woman in the 21st century.
Ericka has been awarded several times by Writers Digest for various short fiction pieces. She has written four novels (one of which placed as a quarter-finalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest) and has had the privilege of sharing her craft, teaching writing classes, and holding writing workshops in the South Texas area.
Ericka lives in Northwest Arkansas with her husband and daughter and an insatiable need to push buttons, both figuratively and literally.
You can find out more at www.erickaclay.com.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)