Blackbird is written by an Oregon author, so thus I chose to read it. But I found it to be a life changing read. This is the story of amazing loss, abuse, and the desire for a future in the life of a young girl. It is not terribly graphic but you get the idea where difficult subject matter is addressed. It is the true story of the author herself. It has compelled me to look for her next two books.
I cannot say enough about the way this book leaves you feeling. It is an honest look at the wrongs that this woman endured as a child. If you were ever any part of a blended family, this book will tear at you. It will leave you wanting more and more is available in the form of a sequel, Still Waters.
Coming from a sheltered background, I felt so naive about the lives of my peers. Looking back, I can only imagine the trials that many others must live through as children. Jennifer Lauk is a helpless warrior in Blackbird. True to the core of her being, she evolves fairly well intact despite her obstacles.
Blackbird is the story of Jennifer Lauck's childhood, which is reflected in the sub-title- A Childhood Lost and Found. Told through the perspective of the child that she was, Jennifer tells of the harrowing six years of her life, from the ages of 5 to 11.
Five year old Jennifer is living with her parents and older brother Bryan. It is obvious that Janet, Jennifer's mother is in the end stages of a long illness, and Jennifer takes care of her mom as best she can at her young age. In the course of time Janet Lauck passes away, and the children are left with their father, a kind but overwhelmed man; he quickly remarries a woman with children of her own, who obviously does not care for Jennifer or Bryan at all. When another tragedy befalls the Lauck family, things go from bad to worse.
Although there is some abuse in the book, it is far more psychological than physical and quite disturbing. The indomitable spirit of Jennifer to keep on going, despite it all, is what lifts this book from maudlin to inspiring. The child's eye view of the adult world is heartbreaking at times, but you will care about this little girl and root for her right until the end, hoping someone or something good comes her way.
This is one of my favorite books. I have read both this one and the sequel, "Still Waters", several times and each time they get to the heart and soul of me like I've never read them before. Jennifer Lauck's writing is amazing, and although the book is heartbreaking, you are left with the promise of something better in the end.
This was a really good book. Sad in many ways, but really good. Those you us who didn't have the greatest upbringing will really be able to identify with this little girl. She's so smart and strong in her own way, yet has no sense of safety or security. The story is about dealing with her mother's dying and then death as a young child and the not so pleasant years after. I loved the writing style of this author too. She writes from the childs perspective and it's just perfect!
I was totally engrossed in this book and didn't want it to end. I'm waiting for the sequel and hope it gets here fast! :)
This is a heartbreaking yet encouraging story of a young girls growing up. Hard to believe she survived at all, let alone ended up being a wonderful writer! I loved the descriptive writing style! I highly recommend this book!!
Lauck has an amazing story to tell about five or six years of her life, starting when she was age 5 and her mother's health went from bad to worse. The story was gripping, and I couldn't put it down.
I did struggle with the author's voice, especially in the first part of the book where she is writing from the point of view of herself at age 5. The childish tone, which is presumably meant to be true to a 5-year-old's voice, made the book almost unreadable for me. Here is an example from page 54 the paperback edition:
Dr. Smernoff comes over and puts his hand on Daddy's arm. Daddy stands up and the policemen and Daddy and Dr. Smernoff talk the way grown-ups talk, all at the same time.
Daddy puts his hands up and the police ask him a couple more questions and then they close their notepads. The policemen leave and the big one waves at me.
I don't know what to do, wave, not wave, and I just smile and put the sucker back in my mouth.
I have read several novels and memoirs about childhoods, but this is the first one I have read that tried to capture the language of a child. I'm not sure if she's trying to evince further poignancy (not necessary, since the story was powerful enough to tell on its own) or to try to be true to the 5-year-old main character. I think it is an unfortunate choice. Happily, the language gets more readable as the author moves later into her childhood, and the last half of the book is much better.
Excellent book. I was amazed at how well Ms Lauck is able to present the heartbreaking details of her life. I was incredibly touched by her story. Her reading made the book that much more special. This book made me smile, made me mad, made me cry, but most of all it made me respect Ms Lauck for her resilience. She is her own type of heroine, and I rooted for her all the way through the story. Highly recommend this book.
Excellent book. Best book I ever listened to. The author reads this book and pulls you in from the start. You live her life as she struggles to find herself through her mother's illness, the bonds of a disfuctional stepfamily and being thrust alone into the world at an incredibly young age. I couldn't put this one down!
This book is riveting and heartbreaking and I could not put it down. I read it cover to cover in 24 hours. It's a tragic, beautifully written memoir that is almost unbelievable. Having lost my own mother at age five, I cried along with Jennifer at every loss and cruel twist. I highly recommend this book...now I am ordering the sequel.
this is a true story of the authors childhood, about the death of her mother with long term illnesses, the remarriage of her father, the death of her father and the hard times she had growing up. I found this book to be almost like cinderella but in modern times. this book takes place from 1968 to 1975. Her stepmother was very mean to her. She even found out she was adopted by her ill mother and father. whom later dies. she has an older brother named BJ who is 2 years older and very influenced. A very good book...
This is an interesting listen, and an amazing story. I listened while I drove on a trip, and it definitely kept my attention. It is my understanding this is a true story. The main character must totally take care of herself in a city at a young age.
Written through the eyes of this child, this is a heart-wrenching tale of neglect. It was hard to put down and hard not to want to take this and every other child into your home. Can't wait to read the sequel ...
What a riveting memoir about a young girl. Heart-wrenching, yet sometimes comical, and definately inspiring. I can't imagine any of the children today, being as brave as she was. Looking forward to reading Book 2 - Still Waters - about how her childhood affected her as an adult.
Nola C. reviewed Blackbird: A Childhood Lost and Found on
I originally read this book because I got it at the library. I loved it so much that I wanted my own copy. That way, if I decide to read it again, I will have it. Fortunately I was able to get a copy through Paperback Swap!