Tena Clark grew up in rural Mississippi during the Civil Rights era, living in a small town that had deep racial divides and no interest in changing things because “that’s just the way it is.” As one of the daughters of the wealthiest man in town, she was expected to live her life a certain way, but she rebelled against it, determined to live her life the way she chose, no matter what.
It’s my stop on the blog tour for Christine Clayfield’s No Fourth River. Welcome!
It takes a great deal of courage to write about the abuse you’ve suffered through during your childhood and (first) marriage, but Clayfield rose to the challenge in No Fourth River. In it, she writes about her abusive father, her miserable years at a boarding school, and her disastrous first marriage to a brutal man who married her hoping to get his hands on some of her father’s riches. After nearly being beaten to death by her violent husband, Christine was determined to turn her life around and find the elusive happiness she longed for in her life.
Linda Curtis was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, and everyone she loved—her friends, her family—shared her faith, as did the man she eventually married. She belief was strong until she was in her early thirties, when doubts crept in and she begins to question everything she’d ever believed to be true. Over time, Linda’s questions grew, and her faith in the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses faded. Much to the dismay of her husband, friends, and family Linda chose to leave the religion, as well as her marriage—which resulted with her being shunned by everyone she cared about. Despite the pain of her severed relationships, Linda stayed firm in her decision, and set out to discover life anew, free of the limitations imposed by her former religion. Read More
When I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. Like so many others, I have often watched the news in horror when yet another African-American man or woman (or worse, a child) has been killed without provocation, when they were doing nothing wrong. It was horrible enough when the killer was just a regular citizen, but the horror I felt increased ten-fold when their deaths came at the hands of police officers—someone who is meant to serve and protect all of us, regardless of race. (I guess I’m a bit naive, because I always expect justice to be served, punishment meted out for the guilty party—and I’m stunned when it doesn’t happen.)
Through the years, I’ve seen several news reports of imprisoned men and women being released after they were proven to be wrongly convicted of various crimes. I was left with two strong feelings: relief that their innocence had been proven, and angry that they had spent years (even decades, in some cases) of their lives behind bars when they shouldn’t have been there in the first place. I would only know the little that was reported about their wrongful convictions—usually that their conviction was overturned by DNA evidence or whatever—without knowing how they came to be tried and convicted in the first place. After reading this book, I’m certain that knowing those details would likely have left me feeling horrified, as well.