"Probably one of Carolyn Brown's most important stories to share"
Reviewed by Sandra Wurman
Posted November 28, 2016
Just when I think I've learned everything about Carolyn
Brown and her writing talent she up and surprises me with
this magnificent new story THE LULLABY SKY. It's a truly
remarkable insight into an age old problem that transcends
age, race, religion and status. We're talking about abuse
-- spousal abuse. THE LULLABY SKY is about charting a new
course after making that difficult and candidly dangerous
break from a cycle of abuse. There are of course physical
signs that should send an ear splitting signal but the
emotional and psychological scars take longer to heal and
are just as devastating.
So THE LULLABY SKY is Carolyn Brown's journey into a world
that hides behind normalcy and thrives in an environment
of neglect and distance.
In THE LULLABY SKY we are taken to a small town that would
appear out of the circle of current fads and conveniences.
Their values are steeped in their religion and down home
traditions and courtesy. But don't take that for being
unsophisticated. These folk might mind their P's & Q's but
mess with them or anyone they care about and you could
probably find yourself staring down the long barrel of a
shotgun. And they know how to shoot -- right between the
eyes -- they've been taught not to waste ammo.
So Hannah and her little girl Sophie finally found a way
to escape the horror of living with Marty -- Hannah's
husband and Sophie's father. He wants a divorce so that he
can marry his now pregnant lover. The world works in
strange ways. Hannah has tried to escape several times but
Marty always found her and brought her back to her living
nightmare. Sophie was the bait.
Hannah's friends and family were beginning to get wary of
her husband. They noticed signs of abuse, but the
best they could do was be there for Hannah and Sophie when
they were needed. At the first sign of Hannah's decision
to leave Marty and get that divorce these folks were
ready. Hannah got her grandmother's house and surrounding
property as her settlement. Marty got practically
everything else. But Hannah got what was most important --
custody of her Sophie.
First step was to erase all signs of Marty from their
lives and her childhood friends were all on board to help
most especially Travis who had his eye on Hannah since
they were kids. Travis and Hannah were becoming great
partners in Hannah's decision to allow abused women and
their children to use some of the empty bedrooms as a
temporary safe haven. The local women's shelter was often
full but that meant they would have to turn people away.
Not something either Hannah or Travis would allow. So
Lullaby Sky was established.
Here's what is so unique about THE LULLABY SKY. It
recognizes the existence of the abuse from all walks of
life and illustrates the desperate need for compassion,
acceptance, respect and hope for those weary from the
abuse and yet too frightened to leave. These women all
seem to share some very noticeable habits or traits gained
during their struggle to stay alive. For some their
children are pawns in the game of control with these
abusive men. THE LULLABY SKY tells the story in Carolyn
Brown's voice that has that down home quality -- no airs --
just caring. In LULLABY SKY Brown reminds us that no
amount of money, intelligence, breeding or status
guarantees the sanctity of the marriage or relationship.
Once again Carolyn Brown teaches us with down home advice
for an ongoing societal malady.
After seven years of misery and abuse, itâ€™s all overâ€”Hannah
Oâ€™Malley is officially divorced. Hallelujah. Itâ€™s like every
Christmas in her life all rolled up into one glorious day.
Not only does Hannah get to keep her grandmotherâ€™s spacious
old house, but she has full custody of her sparky
five-year-old daughter. All Hannah has to do now is put the
past behind her.
And now that sheâ€™s free, she wants to make a difference.
With the help of her warm, close-knit circle of
friendsâ€”including her high school crush, Travis
Wilsonâ€”Hannah begins turning her home into a safe house for
other women whoâ€™ve endured the pain sheâ€™s known. But even as
life and laughter return to Hannahâ€™s home, sheâ€™s haunted by
the memory of her dangerously unstable ex. With a second
chance at love on the horizon, Hannah must face down her
past in order to let the sunshine back into her life.
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