It is rare for me to read a book that makes me cry. I’ve had books touch my heart in the same way a good song will. It was different with Looking for Mary Gabriel. I stumbled onto a part that you don’t see coming, and it’s shockingly heartbreaking.
Bonita Gaberiel wants a normal childhood with a normal sister but there’s nothing normal about her younger sister, Mary. Mary suffers from a mental illness that causes her to act on impulse, see and hear things no one else can, and to take off without warning. Bonita’s father appoints her Mary’s keeper. At times it seems he’s only trying to instill the importance of family. Then there are moments when he’s asking too much and his motives are questionable. Bonita and Mary’s mother had a sister who suffered with mental illness that led her to commit suicide. Their mother worries it’s her fault and she doesn’t want Bonita to ever feel responsible for Mary but rather than share this with Bonita, it is kept secret from her. At times it appears their mother is wanting to protect Bonita and other times it seems she just can’t deal with her sister’s death.
Bonita struggles with wanting to protect her sister and wanting a normal life away from Mary. A tragedy occurs which leads Bonita away from her family and then another tragedy happens that cuts Bonita’s ties with her family. She chooses a quite life hidden away from family and friends who love her more than she thought possible. With the passing of Bonita and Mary’s father, Bonita is forced to emerge from her hidden life to handle funeral arrangements and deal with Mary. What she thought was true is contradicted by what she learns is true.
Beautifully and poetically written, the story of a family that is flawed is wonderfully conveyed on every page. ‘Looking for Mary Gabriel’ is a story that shares the love of family and the harsh truths about family making it relatable. It’s a book that can be read a 2nd and 3rd time; each time bringing some new fascination to the reader. I give it 5 stars and recommend it to everyone who loves reading.
This was written for Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop – Prompt 3. Head over to Mama Kat’s and choose a prompt.
1. Something you learned in February.
2. Write a blog post inspired by the word: sleep.
3. Share a childhood story about a time you got lucky.
4. List 8 things you accomplished this week!
5. Write a Limerick!
There was an Irish girl in town
Wherever she walked, she fell down
She always had the blues
‘Til she bought new shoes
She went everywhere running around
Written for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.
This is my first attempt to a limerick. I’m not sure I followed all the rules but I had fun writing it. Any thoughts on limericks? Feel free to comment.
7 Things That Bring Me Joy…….
(I decided on doing 7 Things of Christmas that bring me joy….)
- I love sending out and receiving Christmas cards from family and friends during the holidays. It’s usually how I kick off the Holiday Season!
- Buying or making a new “special family” ornament to go on the tree each year. I have some that belonged to my grandma. Some she kept I made her in school in 1981. My daughters’ ornaments from school. Each year I add to this wonderful collection.
- Listening to my favorite Holiday music while decorating the tree is always a joy. Especially Mariah Carey’s song “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”
- Watching Christmas movies and cartoons with my children. My two favorites being “The Christmas Story” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
- I love wrapping the gifts and I have vowed for years to do a homemade Christmas gift such as DIY Body Srubs. I haven’t yet but the idea brings me joy.
- I am not a regular at church although I do have my own faith. I loved being in Christmas plays as a child so I enjoy going to church to watch my children, cousins, and all the kids putting on a Christmas play for church about the birth of Christ.
- I love the spirit of giving and the joy of others when they receive a gift they love. The Angel Trees, the Santas at the mall, the Salvation Army making Christmas wishes come true, and the feeling of peace and goodwill towards others. This should be the sentiment all year but Christmas seems to turn the Scrooges into Saints.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL AND I HOPE THIS YEAR BRINGS EVERYONE JOY THAT CONTINUES INTO THE NEW YEAR AND LONG AFTER THE FESTIVITIES ARE OVER!!!
YOU CAN LINK TO MAMA KAT’S WRITING PROMPTS ON THURSDAY. HEAD ON OVER AND CHOOSE YOUR PROMPT.