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Friday, 11 January 2013

FIVE Stars to Finding Gloria ~ by Marianne Curtis

Happy New Year!!!!!!!

The Holiday season is over and 2013 is here!

I don't know about anyone else but I have been cleaning like a mad woman, rearranging the house and trying to start the new year off on a high note. If the house is perfect, it leaves more time for fun (and reading!)
 I guess you could say my resolution for 2013 is to be better organized! (And here I thought I didn't make a resolution!)

We didn't do very much for New Years in our house. What was previously my favorite holiday for the third year in a row has turned into a quiet evening at home. We were even in bed before midnight! (Sorry honey, I will wish you a Happy New Year at 8am over scrambled eggs)

That said, one thing I did that night was read.

The book I chose to 'ring out' the old year?

I find it hard to use the word ‘Love’ to describe a memoir. I don’t want to. What is to 'love' about reading a true life story of a lonely childhood? 

Before I answer my own question, I will tell you a bit more about the book!

I came across ‘Finding Gloria’ by Marianne Curtis, after hearing about it from a friend of mine. (Shout out to Ms. B!)  The author happens to belong to an online book club we are in. When I heard it was a memoir about adoption and her life afterwards, I was intrigued. I added Finding Gloria to my reading list! I was lucky enough to grab a copy one day when Ms. Curtis had it offered on Amazon for a short time as a free e-book special! (I love it when a book I have marked to read is free!)

Here is a snippet of the book description from

"Pouring her own hardships out onto the page, Marianne Curtis recounts her experiences growing up as an adopted child: adopted at birth, she was raised in a household where she was subjected to terrible and heart breaking forms of abuse. Her adoptive mother repeatedly tried to break her spirit, insisting that she was worthless and unwanted.  In a desperate attempt to escape her circumstance, Curtis fled, as a teenager, to another city.
Desperate for acceptance and love, she married at age eighteen, and, by twenty-four, had four children.  Her insecurities from her traumatic childhood followed her, however, and eventually led to the dissolution of three marriages and her own mental breakdown.
Finally, after the death of her adoptive mother, Curtis searched out her birth family, found them through Facebook, and eventually came to a place of love, healing, peace, and acceptance through the family she had not known for more than four decades."

As I said above, it is hard to describe a true story as something you ‘love’. I don't love the unimaginable pain and suffering inflicted on a helpless and trusting child. It broke my heart. I didn’t 'love' the fear and embarrassment she suffered as a teenager, it made me sad and angry. It also made me regret (as it should) so many things said and done to others when I was in high school.
 As a mother I couldn't fathom treating a child terribly, or being forced to give my child up for adoption. I cried at times reading it. (yet another book that needs to come with kleenex!)

All that said, I did love the courage, the determination, the journey to healing that Marianne Curtis showed within the pages of her novel. Her writing style completely drew me in from page one and I finished the book within hours of starting it. You could not pry my iPhone out of my hands (Kindle App...LOVE it!)
One of the things I want to note is how the story flows. There is a quality to it that makes it feel as if you are experiencing it with the author. Her life's lessons and struggles are hard for anyone to swallow, but they really make you think. For those few hours on New Years Eve I felt like I was living it along side her. When she was telling her birth mothers tale, I felt the pain of that mother come through on the pages. When she spoke of desperately trying to escape her home, I was praying that she could too.When she connects with her birth family via Facebook, I was ecstatic! I have to say, one of my favorite parts of the book comes toward the end. No spoilers, but I will hint and say it is very spiritual and (in my opinion) brings things full circle.

It takes a brave person to write a memoir. Let me pose a question to you? If you are completely true to yourself, do you have the strength to put your personal thoughts, mistakes, suffering and story to paper for the world to read? (Pretty sure I'd be hyperventilating into a paper bag if I wrote one and sent it to be published)
I am going out on a limb here to say THIS is a book you SHOULD read and will be one of the better books you read this year! I implore you to grab a paperback or grab an e-book. (Just do it!)

There are so many reasons to pick up a copy of 'Finding Gloria'. If you have ever felt alone or suffered from abuse, use this book to inspire and help you heal. Know that there are people with the courage to come forward and share their stories and who succeed in life no matter what may come there way. If Marianne Curtis can do it, so can you.
This book could be used to educate! THIS is why we need to hug our children, THIS is why we should not turn a blind eye to mental illness. THIS is why we need to teach our children that being cruel to those dubbed the 'weirdo' (or anyone else) is unacceptable. You don't know what is going on in anyone's private life. You don't know why that person has to dress that way, wear her hair that way or why they act and react the way they do. Learn from this woman's experience!!

I admire the courage it took for the author to share her story with the world. Marianne Curtis is a true inspiration. FIVE Stars!

On that note, I will spell it out once more... (because I can)

'Finding Gloria' is real, it is raw and it truly is a must read.

Happy Reading!!

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