Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Virtual Tour - Space by Emily Sue Harvey

STORYLINE: Dan and Deede Stowe follow the path that all industrious people do. They work hard, save their money, raise their child the best way they know how and the plan for their retirement. Things don’t quite pan out like that, because just when they’re ready to enjoy all they have worked for, their adult daughter Faith moves in with them. She carries all the baggage that drug addicts do, and then some. The Stowes fight to protect their marriage, but the challenges their daughter’s situation throw at them might come at too high a cost.

PLAYERS: Deede Stowe is patient, sweet and tolerant. Everything a mother and wife should strive to be. At times, I thought her a saint.

Dan Stowe is complex, understanding to a point and at the same time simplistic in the way he views his daughter’s problems. He’s a no-nonsense disciplinarian and his attitude doesn’t work too well when there’s a drug addict in the picture.

I LIKED: the relationship shared by Dan and Deede. At no time did I doubt their love for each other, and the differences in their approach makes Space a balanced story. The supportive family unit (which included Deede’s family) is a wonderful change of pace, even though there’s a bad egg in there, bent on mischief. Her behaviour can’t be blamed on drugs, but a misguided sense of jealousy.   

I have to admire the role their faith played in helping this couple stand firm in their challenges, even when they didn’t know which way to turn for help.     

I COULD HAVE LIVED WITHOUT: Faith’s sometimes unreasonable behaviour. Many times, I wanted to slap some sense into her, especially when she was being inconsiderate and nasty to her parents. Like Dan I got tired of her.  

I was perturbed by a section where Faith describes her trip to a hospital in Jamaica. It so happens that I’m Jamaican and didn’t recognize the hovel described as a hospital.  In part, Faith account says…A hospital it was not.  It was a mere shack with dirt floors. One could stand in the open front entrance and see out the back door. I know the writer is at liberty to be creative in crafting a story, but I wanted to protest that even in the remotest villages, we don’t have clinics with dirt floors. Health workers would give the government what for over such conditions.  

OVERALL COMMENTS: I read Space more than a month ago, but didn’t write the review immediately. I worried over whether I’d be able to retain what I’d read of the book. However, I had no challenges. The characters are memorable and the story is such that it stayed in my mind, maybe because I’ve never read a novel that is as in depth as this one in exposing the complications that go hand-in-hand with substance abusers.

I now have a better understanding of what the relatives of drug addicts must go through, the hopelessness they feel, the questions they have as to where they went wrong, and the endless ups and downs.

The pacing is good, the book easy to read and I couldn’t help rooting for the characters. Even when I got tired of Faith, I wanted her to get well simply because her parents are such decent, faith-filled people.The title is oh, so, fitting, based on everything that happens in the book.

I’d definitely recommend this read for people who are suffering and who have suffered because they have relatives who are addicts. It’s also a good read for people who have relatives that can’t support themselves.
RATING: In my book Space is a truly awesome read.
SOURCE: I received a copy of Space through the publisher The Story Plant. 

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