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Belt Buckles & Pajamas [Kindle Edition]

Michele LeBlanc
2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $11.95
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

Daphne is a young woman with a troubled past. With her in the sanitarium are a strange collection of people who both hinder and help her as she tries to heal from an abusive childhood. Glen, the protector. Theodore, the wise. Stuart, the paranoid. Violet, the nymphomaniac. Pet Shop, the zookeeper. Shy Boy, the drooler. And Andie, the therapist who finally reaches through to Daphne.

A story with sadness, horror, comedy, hate, love and redemption.

The novel contains some humorous moments to lighten the story. It is a story about the redemptive power of love and the strength of the human spirit.

Belt Buckles & Pajamas is intended for mature audiences, as it deals with a young woman’s recovery from childhood abuse, with frank language and sexual situations; it is not suitable for younger readers.

Product Details

  • File Size: 522 KB
  • Print Length: 181 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0615147143
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Kanapolis Fog Publishing Emporium (May 31, 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001BQNI7E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #855,900 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

2.3 out of 5 stars
2.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By Zagain
Format:Kindle Edition
Belt Buckles and Pajamas covers the story of Daphne -- a patient at a mental health facility working to recover from the psychological damage of sexual abuse from her father. In trying to deal with the damage and subsequent recovery, a cast of characters have spawned in Daphne's mind to help and protect her at various times. While working through her recovery with Andie, her preferred doctor, Daphne also encounters other patients such as Pet Shop, a man with his own unique cast of characters, and Shy Boy, a heavily medicated and heavily damaged patient who develops strong feelings for Daphne. As the book progresses, Daphne is able to make progress in her recovery, although often at a loss of a character that the reader has become familiar with. The ending is unexpectedly dramatic, but brings closure to the novel.

Overall, I would give the novel 2 to 2.5 stars. The book is a bit difficult to get into, but does have periods in which it is engaging once one becomes accustomed to the style. It deals with a very sensitive and tragic topic, which is handled in an adept manner, but the text also includes characters who are quite silly and seem ill-fitted for the subject matter (partially because they are not well-defined, and it's sometimes hard to understand what caused their "creation"). The plot often moves slowly and it can be difficult to ascertain which characters are "real" and which are "imagined" by the patients.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite good work from an aspiring writer November 18, 2007
To review an author's first work is to tread on dangers ground. Especially an author who writes in a genre (fiction) that is not my usual. One wishes to be encouraging, yet truthful. Critical without being cruel. Which is why I normally turn down offers from writers to review their books. But when Michele LeBlanc asked me to read and review "Belt Buckles and Pajamas," I found it hard to say no. Perhaps the subject matter about an abused girl pulled at my heart. Hoping the tale was not a heartfelt but misguided attempt at personal therapy, I cautiously assented.

Luckily for both LeBlanc and I, "Belt Buckles and Pajamas" has much to recommend it!

BB&P is the tale of a young woman's attempts to recover from a brutal childhood that has disintegrated her trust for her parents and her ability to function in the real world. Daphne is in a mental hospital. Her twice-daily group therapy sessions are overseen by Dr. Andie MacPherson, a sweet and loving young therapist who gently encourages Daphne and her therapy partners toward healing. The group is a menagerie of types. There's Violet, the super-sensuous femme fatale with the ever-dirty mind. There are Theodore and Glen, Daphne's chilvalrous protectors -- usually from nasty Doctor Martin. There are Pet Shop, who speaks mostly through his coterie of invisible animals, Stuart, ever vigilant against government plots, and Shy Boy, the drooling, sweet boy with a crush on Daphne.

The group experiences various adventures, circumscribed somewhat due to their confinement. They explore an old cemetery on the grounds and wonder at the numbered graves there. They experience romances and fights with each other, and sometimes brutal takedowns from the orderlies.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A poignant read. September 17, 2007
In the book Belt Buckles & Pajamas, you are introduced to the main character Daphne and you learn very quickly where she is and why she is there. Daphne's universe is a mental institution. Daphne's friends and fellow patients orbit around her--each one with their own demons and inner-turmoil haunting them. Their universe is disrupted by the arrival of a new Therapist. Andie is a stark contrast to her stoic and regimented predecessor, Martin, and she has a way of reaching these lost, harrowed souls that he never had.

There are the archetypes one expects in an institution like this; the sex-addict, the paranoid, the nearly catatonic, the one who sees invisible things; telling from the title; one can easily surmise Daphne's issues. The author touches on this sensitive issue with finesse, while exploring the madness of the others with a humorous eye.

You begin to discover the depth of Daphne's pain, and the events that brought it to her. As you read, you watch her; under Andie's careful guidance begin the process of healing and coming to terms with her past. Daphne's growing self-acceptance alters her perspective about her universe; including the people who surround her.

Belt Buckles & Pajamas in my eyes is the beginning of an insightful book. The first draft which needs to be fleshed out into something greater. I was a bit put off by the pat characters; the seemingly stereotypical nature of each patient. They seemed sometimes only two-dimensional and lacked depth to be truly believable. I feel like not enough time was spent further exploring Daphne's healing process, and that it was too easily resolved.

It is still a good read; and easy one as well; no flourish or wordiness complicates the book; it still communicates volumes in far too few pages. I give this book 3.5 stars.
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