Saturday, November 8, 2008

Courage In Patience-Beth Fehlbaum

Courage In Patience
Beth Fehlbaum
Kunati, Sep 2008, $14.95
ISBN: 9781601641564

In La Salle, Texas Ashley Asher has been sexually abused by her stepfather Charlie who calls her ash-hole for six years. Desperate she turns to her mom when she turned fourteen, but is stunned as the person she thought would keep her safe rejected her plea; mom backed her spouse over her daughter.

Ashley is sent to live with her estrange biological father David in Patience, Texas. The upset teen fears her dad as he has anger management issues. However, his schoolteacher wife Beverly welcomes Ashley into the family and into her English high school summer class studying the controversial Ironman by Chris Crutcher

Mindful of the Barbara Streisand movie Nuts, Ashley keeps the deep look at family abuse focused as she receives reader empathy and understanding with her inability to trust anyone or depend on those who should help you but hide in the sand; ignorance is bliss. Beverley’s efforts to make Ashley comfortable and ultimately just be part of their family are commendable and not easy but she displays COURAGE IN PATIENCE with the teen that learned from adults she is worthless and therefore seeks to destroy herself. However, the powerful prime plot of a teen struggling to overcome parental abuse and adjust to a warm nurturing relationship is somewhat sideswiped by Beverly’s tendency to spout overkill babble. Yet Beth Fehlbaum has written an insightful look at a teen trying to overcome abuse as she superbly captures the essence of Ashley, making this a winner with a deep message of “It may not seem like it now, but you are not alone.”

Harriet Klausner

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