The three most important parts of a book are: a well constructed plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Overlay - A Tale of One Girl's Life in 1970's Las Vegas

Overlay by Marlayna Glynn Brown
Author:  Marlayna Glynn Brown
Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Release Date:  March 2012
Pages:  318

About the Book
What is it that makes one person's life interesting to another? Could it be the reader's perceived shared experiences with the writer? A profound thankfulness for not having shared such experiences? A desire to know about a life not personally lived? A well-crafted, mesmerizing and professionally written read? A story that evokes reader emotion - whether it be relief, anger, fear, sadness or joy? A desire to see a situation through to the end? Our shared universal desire for entropy, balance, peace and happy endings?

Author Marlayna Glynn Brown has crafted an extraordinary tale of survival and resilience in spare and convincing prose. Written from a child's point of view from ages 4 to 17, this tale describes the precarious childhood of Marlayna in 1970s Las Vegas.

The desert perimeter serves as a hot, dry and dangerous barrier that shuts out the rest of the vibrant world and bleaches away any sense of the joy that colors childhoods. Born into an ongoing cycle of alcoholism, addiction and abandonment amidst fallen adults, Marlayna develops a powerful sense of self-preservation in contrast to the people entrusted with her care. Her story explores the personalities of the bizarre characters who populate her life as she moves from home to home, parent to parent, family to family and ultimately to homelessness at the age of fourteen. Out of the resources of her remarkable childhood emerges an inner strength that will charm and captivate readers and remain in their consciousness long after the last page of her story has been turned.

Wanda's Review
This book is a memoir of the author's young life - a child with an alcoholic father and a mother who just doesn't seem to care - a very dysfunctional family. With a very simplistic style, Marlayna writes with strength, painting a vivid picture that captures your attention from the beginning.

Many times Marlayna displays anger at her mother and is confused how she could both hate and love her mother at the same time. There was very little food purchased for the house and many times Marlayna cried herself to sleep because she was so hungry. It it weren't for the free lunch program at school, she wouldn't have eaten at all. But, they always seemed to have money for jugs of wine, gallons of vodka, and cartons of cigarettes.

I read this book awhile back and it's a book you don't want to miss.  This is truly a powerful and gripping read. It had to take a lot of courage for Marlayna to share such a personal story - a story that will touch your heart and soul. In spite of all the hardships and challenges she faced, Marlayna Glynn Brown persevered and now has three college degrees and has had several different careers. My rating for this book is 5 stars and I highly recommend it.

Taken from the book -
Today was so sad. I really don't like Christmas anymore. It's no fun for me. It is depressing. I don't spend any time with my father. He's drunk anyway so I don't want to be with him. It's so lonely. I just sit here by myself on Chrismas Eve and cry. There is no dinner, no presents. no family, no hugs or kisses. Just one scrawny little Christmas tree with my father's present underneath it. He'll let it sit there for another year for all he cares. I didn't even get one surprise or anything. I don't want to be by myself anymore. Please God - it's not that much to ask and it means so much to me. I wish I at least had someone here to hug me and tell me that everything will be alright.

The Author
Marlayna Glynn Brown

Marlayna Glynn Brown