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Blackbird: A Childhood Lost And Found by Jennifer Lauck

“Blackbird” is a phenomenally-written memoir by Jennifer Lauck. “Blackbird” is the telling of Lauck’s childhood, from age six to twelve. From an early age, Lauck had a difficult life thrust upon her, with anticipation only of hardship to follow, as that was almost all that Lauck had seemed to know. Lauck, before her school days, spent her time at home with her mentally ill mother, who was in and out of “special hospitals” until Lauck was unexpectedly taken away from all that she loved, with only her father’s lackluster smile to comfort her. Misunderstandings and abuse was to follow the little girl who was taught to always wipe the gunk out of her eyes first thing in the morning, and loss was to follow the girl that treasured her Malibu Sun Barbie above new, store-bought clothes.
The author’s simplistic writing style that carries throughout the book fits perfectly to the innocent voice of the author’s younger self, as she narrates daily events of her early life. Fortunately, it is written in a language that does not ward others away with large vocabulary or daunting expressions. Yet there is still something about the way Lauck tells her story that is dazzling.
Furthermore, there is almost no other reaction but to count your blessings after reading “Blackbird”. There were times throughout my reading that I had to put the book down out of horror and frustration. The longing to hug the young Lauck right off the page, to offer her love during loveless times, was almost overwhelming.
However, I don’t think this book was written with the sole intention of depressing its readers. In fact, Jennifer Lauck has even stated herself, “I hope that my work makes people really look into their hearts for the layers of their own truth”. My impression is that the message emanating from her words speaks that we are not alone. We are not alone in any of the abuse we may or may not have personally encountered because, though we may be wounded, we are the walking wounded.
My only criticism of this book would be its slightly slow beginning, as it took the first fifty pages or so for me to really be hooked into the book. There were times when I didn’t mind putting the book down for a day or so, and then there were times when I felt unhealthily obsessed with it.
I would definitely recommend this book to others who are looking for a good read. Not all the best written works are on the fiction shelves.



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