Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Behind the Lace by H. A. Lamb

       With exquisite touch, H.A. Lamb brings a new warmth and depth to the story of Cinderella.  While we are all very familiar with the traditional version of Cinderella (girl is in rags, girl rides in a pumpkin, hits the ball, and wins over the prince), you will be pleasantly surprised with this considerably altered version. H. A. Lamb’s novel Behind the Lace is an engaging, imaginative, and passionate read. I was captivated as I read the prologue. Paquette Le Clerc’s son, Charles is approached by the King whom is requesting a collection of children’s fairy tales.  His rewriting of Cinderella is what we know today. What are the hidden family secrets and crimes, and why does Paqauette cry as she turns her back on her son? All of this is answered with the truth; the story of Aveline, the stepmother of Ella, second wife of abusive Lord Amis, and the forbidden love of Duke Richard Louis De Sorenson III.

To buy on Amazon, click here.

      With the order of His majesty the King, Richard Louis De Sorenson II is to be executed on grounds of treason against Her Majesty the Queen.  The tale of power and greed drives a family into hiding. It is by chance that young Loiuse comes to the rescue of Peasant Aveline who was tending her uncle’s Inn.  While walking home that evening a viscous attack by a stagecoach driver occurs that leaves Aveline with severe physical and emotional scars.  The handmade lace that conceals Aveline’s face becomes a symbol of the complexity of family relationships, love, hurt, and the power of grace to find the happily ever after story. 

            Absolutely heart wrenching, H.A. Lamb weaves an incomparable tale of love and sacrifice. The elements of young Ella’s sexual abuse are handled very tactfully. The writing is intensely emotional. For example, when Ella changes her name to Cinderella, it was the product of pure creative genius on the part of the author.  I was completely on edge as Ella and her two sisters escaped from the ball. My favorite character was Olya, the fairy godmother. Yet, this will have the reader question, who is Olya really?  Is she the fairy godmother of Ella or Aveline? I have always been the type of reader that often finds more interest in the characters, not plots. H.A. Lamb is able to provide most of the plot by the action of each character. The character development was extremely plausible, relevant to the story, and strong. I feel this is the area that the author is most gifted. My favorite scene was when Olya confronts Aveline by the fire. Olya states, “I see a lot of women like you. Some are burned; some won’t ever walk or talk…They don’t survive. Life is what you make of it. When you help others, you get a sense of satisfaction that no one can ever take away from you.” When I read Behind the Lace by H. A. Lamb, I was more than satisfied. Completely compelling, this novel is full of strong conflicts, tragedies, and joys. As for the ending, that will depend on what you define as happily ever after. I highly recommend Behind the Lace by H.A. Lamb. 

Heather loves to Cook!

Heather with her girls.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Feeling the Awakenings of Freedom

Each year on July 4, Americans celebrate freedom and independence with barbecues, fireworks, picnics, and family gatherings. The Internet has provided us the opportunity to learn about and communicate with people of different nations, with different languages and different races throughout the world. Yet in thinking of the subject of Freedom and Independence, I can’t help but feel that freedom has no boundaries.  Freedom is an awakening. We each have these special moments that we feel free. Maybe it was a time that you let go of an emotional feeling(such as anger, jealously, or grief) to marry the one you love (no matter their gender), to be a female attending school in Afghanistan without the fear of having acid thrown at you, and not being afraid to be speak up for what you believe to be right and good, and freedom is the ability to worship and believe in your own special way. 
Our Family

 To be free is first opening up to the world.  Ann White often states that being alive and free is to “awaken your soul.” However, with freedom, comes the responsibility. We must be wise with our words, actions, and attitudes.  We must allow ourselves to be free too. Jean-Paul Sartre stated thatFreedom is what you do with what's been done to you.  I believe this means in a situation that happens whether good or bad, you have the choice to make your own path not to dwell on what has happened and give yourself a hard time. Freedom is moving on and allowing peace.

Expressing yourself artistically can be freedom..Egypt

In the past, to even go to prom, visit a biological family member, or even attend a social gathering meant I had to fill out paperwork 45 days in advance, have it approved by social workers, and sometimes a  judge.  It was extremely frustrating for me as a teen. Whoever asked if they could go on a date 45 days in advance when a boy might or might not ask you to prom? That prom night I remember crying over missing senior prom and I was stuck playing Monopoly with Andy! I will never forget Andy telling me nothing is stopping you from having fun!  I fussed, “I have no freedom and you neither.” He then said, “We can still be free!” I dropped my thimble piece and we both stripped off our clothes and ran naked in the wooded area where we were both living at the time. We both ran with our arms stretched and laughed! After we came back we hurriedly dressed and I will never forget how the staff just happened to walk up and say, “Why are you both laughing in a rather snarky tone.” I looked up and said I landed on Free Parking.. That made Andy and I laugh even more!  
“We can still be free!”

I remember my first taste of “real” freedom; I was 18 years old and had just signed my paperwork with my guardian ad litem. I was so excited to be able to make a choice that it was an overwhelming feeling. Yet on the day, my biological mother and I had lunch at a Chinese restaurant and we went to a book store. I bought the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë and read the entire book that night in a hotel outside Kingston, Tennessee. I still have that book today!  What does freedom mean to you and when did you feel freedom?


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