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Still Waters Paperback – October 1, 2002

4.3 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Readers who breathed a sigh of relief at the end of Blackbird, when 12-year-old orphan Jennifer Lauck was rescued from an abusive stepmother, will have to grit their teeth all over again for the second volume of her memoirs. Jennifer is adopted by her father's sister Peggy and her husband Dick Duemore: he's bullying and mean; she means well but doesn't want to hear anything negative and responds with cold anger to Jennifer's unwanted confidences and insufficiently cheerful behavior. She never feels wanted in a house where she seems valued only for the chores she performs---never well enough for Mom and Dad (as the Duemores insist she call them after the adoption), who remind her constantly how grateful she should be. In prose as stark as if it had been scraped with a scalpel, Lauck recounts an adolescence scarred by lovelessness and haunted by unfinished emotional business from her parents' deaths and separation from her older brother, Bryan. She's honest about her rage and inability to trust: we see her rejecting a sweet high school boyfriend and holding Bryan at arm's length during two brief reunions. Bryan's suicide is a low point, but it starts the healing process; she leaves a failing marriage, and the happiness she finds with her second husband helps her come to terms with her past. No one reading this pitiless book will think Lauck has forgiven the relatives whose lies and selfishness had such disastrous consequences for her and Bryan; she's bitter and she has reason to be. "I know there is a power to anger, the kind of power that helps you survive," she muses in a crucial passage that shows her moving on to acknowledge the necessity of "pulling [anger] back in order to make room for the good things like love and understanding and joy." --Wendy Smith --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Those who relished Lauck's bestselling memoir Blackbird will dive happily into this satisfying sequel. It picks up at the bus station where readers left little Jennifer meeting her grandfather, who they hoped would provide a safe haven after the tragic events that left her orphaned and at the mercy of a wicked stepmother. This book opens with the police report of her brother Bryan's suicide; while its impact may be less dramatic to Lauck's first-time readers, they'll soon become absorbed by her compelling backstory and believable young voice. After settling into her grandparents' cozy trailer home, Jennifer learns that it's temporary; soon she will live with her Aunt Georgia and Uncle Dick. Other relatives take in Bryan, and they remain in separate households. In her new home, Jennifer becomes wary of the grownups who take advantage of her monthly Social Security checks but show little affection for her. She makes friends in high school and chronicles the vicissitudes of early love. In her first year of college, Lauck learns of Bryan's suicide, and his fate is never far from her mind. After a failed first marriage, Lauck finds happiness in a second marriage and a child, with the help of therapy and New Age inspiration. Eventually, she sets out to learn why her brother killed himself, and her journey ends with a spiritual awakening. Lauck's voice successfully blends the tragic-turned-triumphant heroine with the everywoman. Women readers especially will identify with her high school romances and college and career travails. (Oct. 9)Forecast: A 14-city tour, Blackbird's human interest cliffhanger and that book's success will take this one far.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press; Reprint edition (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074343966X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743439664
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #531,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I usually never read sequels, even in biographies. They never seem to measure up to the first book. But this is definitely not the case in "Still Waters".
Jennifer Lauck picks up right where she left off in "Blackbird". From there, she and her brother are kept apart and sent from family member to family member. Mostly following her heart, Jennifer grows up and slowly gets passed her childhood.
With a life story left unfinished in "Blackbird", Lauck once again has opened her heart and her history to share her story. What once left us in heartbreak now teaches us that following your heart and working through life, anyone can survive. If you read "Blackbird", you will not want to miss "Still Waters".
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Format: Paperback
Those who read Lauck's first memoir, Blackbird, will expect to find a continuation in Still Waters of the upbeat note on which that first book ended. They would be wrong. Life did NOT go well for Jennifer Lauck when she was picked up at the bus station by her grandfather and left eventually at the 'safe haven' of her aunt and uncle's home. Although by the conclusion of Still Waters, we are asked to believe Lauck, with the help of New Age spirituality, has at last made peace with her tragic past, one can't help believing that it wasn't the power of hope that carried her to a relatively triumphant adulthood: it was the power of rage.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a fantastic book, relates the undertones of Jennifer's feelings very strongly. Just less than halfway through the book, I made a decision to be a one hundred percent good Dad, This is how much Jennifer has effected me, helped me and will help my children. I read the [Amazon.com] rules to writing reviews and it states we should recommend similar items, I want to recommend another Oregon writer that has a super book called SB 1 or God by Karl Mark Maddox
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By A Customer on January 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I read Blackbird, the first book by Jennifer Lauck, and I loved it. It was such a powerful story, written through the eyes of Jennifer as a child. It was heartbreaking, and I couldn't wait to read the sequel, which I bought as soon as I could. I almost didn't want to continue after the first chapter, I didn't think I could take anymore of what this child had to endure, but I perservered, and I'm glad I did, it was a wonderful book. Jennifer Lauck found love and peace, and I'm happy that she did. The only problem I had with the book is that I am left with so much anger towards the other people in Jennifer's family, and she doesn't seem to be. I think it is very normal for children who have lost parents to feel anger or a sense of abandonment, and after all that Jennifer went through, I think she must have. Perhaps she didn't, and that was what helped her cope, having the image of her loving parents somewhere inside her. But where is the rage against Deb, who's lie caused the separation of Jenny and Bryan which wreaked so much havoc in their lives? I think a large part of the book was about family secrets and the lack of honesty from the aunts, uncles, grandparents and parents and how it affected the lives of Jenny and Bryan. Did Jennifer feel this rage or anger toward these people? She doesn't tell us. What were their reactions to the first book? I feel like I know much of the story, but not enough for my own sense of closure.
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Format: Paperback
I have "read" both Blackbird and Still Waters, but perhaps in a non-traditional way by listening as I endure my excrutiating drive to and from work throughout the week.
Blackbird moved me in ways no book I have read has done. Is that because I was listening to the author's voice - the person to whom these atrocities had been inflicted on was actually telling me about them, or would my reaction have been the same, had I read the accounts in the traditional "reading" method.
Personally, I think the audio rendition has had a more positive impact and let me explain. The book is written entirely from the perspective of the author's participation and some of the repetative phrases, such as "I say", when recounting conversation, I know would have driven me nuts if I were reading, but were totally natural in the "listening" version of reading. Does this make any sense?
Bottom line, Blackbird and Still Waters are the best books I've had the pleasure of reading in a very long time! I was totally engrossed in the story, involved with Jennifer, Bryan and their challenges in life, and I wish Jennifer all the best in everything to come in her life. She presents a role model for anyone who's had difficulties in their life - inspiration to uncover what the truth is, even after years of living perceived truth.
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Format: Hardcover
Still Water is a quick, easy read like Blackbird. Blackbird is the better of the two books, although I couldn't wait to read the sequel. The lesson of Blackbird for me was the power of a dying mother's love from which Jennifer's was able to draw strength to carry her through horrible circumstances. The lesson of the Still Water is the real damage of lies, no matter how innocuous they may have seemed at the time. Both books made me cry, although the first part of Still Water was reasonably uneventful. Jennifer managed to have quite a normal adolescence, after her tragic first years. The book picked up during the last 150 pages, as many mysteries become unravelled. Many years of her life are not covered, because the ability to face the past only came when she was ready for it. There is a powerful zinger at the end -- which gives the book its true meaning. The ending leaves hope for Jennifer to continue the healing process and forgive her adoptive parents who were well meaning, but flawed people like most of us.
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