Verefor Publishing, 2010
Summary of Ghellow Road from Goodreads: "Ghellow Road is a literary diary of a young girl's journey through the tangled labyrinth that is her life. Theresa's story begins in a large midwestern city where she is born to loving parents in 1965. For a brief moment in time, her life is full, as is her heart, and the world is hers to receive without consequence. As time passes and Theresa grows, supernatural forces begin to shape her existence, no matter how carefully her father colors the empty spaces of her world. After a series of tragic events, Theresa and her family seek refuge in a small Minnesota town nestled near the shores of Rainy Lake. She creates a new life for herself there, sharing adventures with friends and riding the ups and downs of adolescence. Yet through it all, her mother remains forever lost in the prison of her own mind and forever lost to Theresa. The young girl feels as though she is leading a double life, one that no one else could possibly understand. She begins to peer at the world as if looking through a thick, black veil, never certain which pieces are illusion and which are not. Through the kindness and support of the townspeople, She eventually summons the strength to survive. This is a story of tragedy and triumph. This is the story of my life."
Initially, I was uncertain about reading this book because it is a little bit outside my comfort zone- I generally read to escape, and reading about pain and struggle is too close to the reading that I do for grad school and the harsh realities I see in my classroom.
However, I found myself genuinely enjoying this book- I didn't want to put it down. T.H. Waters tells her story in an engaging way with smooth transition, natural dialogue, and an excellent balance between detail and action. Although her childhood was difficult, she recounts it with candor and weaves the joyful times of her life in with the heartbreak. The truthfulness of this story is what made me enjoy reading it so much- the plot never seemed contrived or cliche. Some of my favorite scenes include a birthday trip to a go-kart track, getting to know Theresa's grandfather, and an evening serving at a fancy party where a guest insists that Theresa try an oyster.
If I could change anything about this book, I would want to edit it personally. I'm a little bit nuts about grammar and spelling, and there were a few instances where I wanted to get out my red pen. (Not that my mechanics are always perfect- I cringe when I reread my finished work and find a flaw! The other day I almost turned in a paper about "high students" instead of "high school students.") This is a very minor concern, obviously, and did not interfere with my reading of the book.
I give this book four stars, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys heartwarming stories of perseverance and appreciating the blessings of life. I look forward to reading more from T.H. Waters! The book can be purchased on Amazon- check out the website for more information and a sample of the book.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.