Thursday, July 06, 2006

Connie LEMONDE's latest novel


Distorted Images and the Long Road to Truth

1947 - Vermont - A Canadian-American father’s “nice/bad surprise” for six-year-old Michelle never happens but becomes the family secret that leaves her with distorted images of both her parents and sweeps her away from home to a boarding school in Canada and then to New Hampshire. In Canada she meets eight-year-old JP and together they go out looking for God. Instead, they find Ivan, an ex-convict whose life is changed radically by this meeting.

In the meantime, Michelle is sent to live with her ambitious, independent Aunt Lena and is introduced to a lifestyle that she could only dream of. But she continues to long for home and for the very doubtful love of her parents. Then, at sixteen, the “family secret” is revealed to her, and she is devastated not only by what her father had been planning but also because the incident had caused her to have such twisted thoughts about her mother and father. The truth was the opposite of what she had come to believe since she was six years old.

Then, the year of her graduation from high-school, her father is imprisoned and she has to choose between living with her aunt or going back to her small home town help her mother. Her decision brings JP and Ivan back into her life and changes everyone’s course for the better.

Born in Woonsocket, RI of Franco-American parents, since her retirement Connie has written 2 children’s books and has authored and produced 4 family-oriented plays for stage and one for radio. This is the 3rd book published by Infinity Publishing. The other two are a novel, BEST FRIENDS and a book of poems, UPHILL AND DOWNHILL.
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  1. Lucienne10:50 AM

    I couldn't put down the book once I got caught up in the life of little Michelle, the 6 year old, who reminded me of the many children I cared for at the orphanage in Montréal. Her experiences as a child were so similar to theirs, that I wanted to know how her life would turn out despite the lack of love of her father. Her search for a loving "Father-God" was also similar to the God we shared with our orphans, who knew almost nothing of their parents. Connie Lemonde's main character, Michelle, brought back many memories that were true my life experiences as an educators, and I thank her for the opportunity of reliving them. I recommend this novel to all who live children, to all who feel as though life has cheated them a bit because of their difficult or unloving childhood. A very good read not to be put down till the very end.

  2. Nowadays, we're led to believe that childhood should be fun, a carefree period in one's life before the difficulties of adulthood hit us. Well, the truth is that the supposed carefree years of a child's life are now so blissful. Michelle, a 6 year old, at the beginning of the novel, immediately brings us face-to-face with the reality of life then and now. Although society tries to brush aside the fact of INCEST, novels such as THE FAMILY SECRET, forces us to face the truth, the fact that many young children are subjects of parental sexual abuse. Of course, nowadays, we hear about parents, who are convicted of such a crime, years after the fact. But, in the 1950's and for years to come, children suffered in silence because of society's ignorance of the harm that such abuse may have on a child. Secrecy was and still is the password. Such behavior must be THE FAMILY SECRET, not to be divulged to strangers, even though most of one's relatives were and are aware of the situation. Whether one has been abused or not, THE FAMILY SECRET reveals to the reader the complexities of family relationships. In a few pages, the author helps us identify with Michelle by whetting our curiosity as to whether she'll make it to adulthood with a relatively normal psyche. I do recommend this novel as a means of brushing the surface of family secrets sufficiently so that we may realize that, in the end, all secrets become known...better sooner than later so as to awaken one's understanding of our parents behavior toward us and toward one another. Understanding may bridge the gap between a child's emotions and fantasies so that reality may be finally perceived before it's too late.upg