Another day off due to snow. Yes, the downside is that we will have to make them up in June. The upside is that I am well-rested. I have read a lot, finished a knitting project, and my grading is complete and up to date. Go me!
In one of the essays I graded, a reflective letter to an author for the Library of Congress’ Letters About Literature contest, a girl reflected on child abuse.
Ever since I was young, I have never presumed that child abuse was a real thing, that happened in day-to-day life. I always knew of the concept, and that some kids got slapped, or spanked, or smacked, but I never believed that anything as serious as what Carley experiences goes on.
She was writing about Linda Mullaly Hunt’s One For the Murphys.
Those are the words of a 12-year-old, but it gets to the heart of the matter. Family violence is a secret hidden by its victims.
A. S. King delves into this in her latest novel, Still Life With Tornado.
Publisher’s Summary:Sixteen-year-old Sarah can’t draw. This is a problem, because as long as she can remember, she has “done the art.” She thinks she’s having an existential crisis. And she might be right; she does keep running into past and future versions of herself as she wanders the urban ruins of Philadelphia. Or maybe she’s finally waking up to the tornado that is her family, the tornado that six years ago sent her once-beloved older brother flying across the country for a reason she can’t quite recall. After decades of staying together “for the kids” and building a family on a foundation of lies and domestic violence, Sarah’s parents have reached the end. Now Sarah must come to grips with years spent sleepwalking in the ruins of their toxic marriage. As Sarah herself often observes, nothing about her pain is remotely original—and yet it still hurts.
I am an unabashed A. S. King fan, and I think this one is brilliant.