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The Cracked Mirror, Reflections of an Appalachian Son by [Chitwood, Billy Ray]
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The Cracked Mirror, Reflections of an Appalachian Son Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

5.0 out of 5 stars The Cracked Mirror, May 27, 2012
By
Timothy T. - See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Cracked Mirror: Reflections of an Appalachian Son (Paperback)
I approached "The Cracked Mirror" by Billy Ray Chitwood with much anticipation because it uniquely presented itself as "A Fictional Memoir." A challenge that could have easily been a literary disaster is instead a literary gem. Mr. Chitwood--the author of Bailey Crane novels and works of nonfiction--bares his life from childhood to old age with the skill of a surgeon and the requisite messiness of ER trauma. He is honest and contrite about youthful transgressions, and is both traumatized and healed. The "Mirror" of the title is an accurate reflection of a lifetime that includes victory and beauty, the "Cracked" an honest ownership of human imperfections. The fictional chapters titled "The Way Station" occur every-other chapter, and serve as introspection to the memoir chapters. These are handled flawlessly via the protagonist PP Hiller and the clinical psychologist character Greta Fogel. Mr. Chitwood does not make the mistake of leaning on psychobabble jargon to play psychologist, but instead captures the rapport of a friend who is also a retired psychologist sharing some insights with a friend, that we, as readers, get to also benefit. The result is a memoir that expertly handles the arch of a lifetime from childhood poverty and abuse to the bittersweet regrets, acceptance, and amends of a man intensely aware that he is in the autumn of his life. Powerful writing from an author that now has me seeking out his other works.

From the Author

"The Cracked Mirror - Reflections Of An Appalachian Son" is a fictional memoir but so much of it is true, likely about ninety percent true. It has been a labor of love and some tears were shed over the laptop during the writing. Looking back on one's life can have that effect.

The book has a fictional character named Prentice Paul Hiller, and you can presume accurately that person would be me. I chose a dual-narrative format for better conveyance of information and to keep the story line interesting and more credible. With the fictional Prentice Paul there are the fictional paternal grandparents. The stories related to the paternal grandparents, uncles and aunts are true. The maternal grandparents are actually presented  by their real names and those stories are true.

"What Happens Next? A Life's True Tale" is the non-fictional brother to this book. "What Happens Next?" explores more deeply the concept of 'Love' and 'Faith,' to the extent the mind is capable of doing that. "What Happens Next? A Life's True Tale" is to be published in September, 2012.

Know what? One could call these books 'twin brothers.'

Product Details

  • File Size: 810 KB
  • Print Length: 346 pages
  • Publication Date: April 11, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004ZGWQY8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,664,013 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

By D. James on June 11, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't normally care for memoirs, but Billy Ray Chitwood's "The Cracked Mirror" was more than a memoir. The author expessed his views and showed his heartache in growing up poor while at the same time loving all of his relatives who took him under their wing. He points out to the reader all of the "cracks" in our poor misguided world, and he knows what he is talking about. This is not a "poor me" book because the author is quite intelligent and points out where we as a people are going in the wrong direction. He made his own mistakes along the way, but havn't we all. He suffered greatly from those blips in his life and still does. He and his wife and Bengal cat live a good life now at the beautiful Sea of Cortez. His dreams continue to haunt him and undoubtedly always will. He is hanging on and will continue to do so.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Billy Ray Chitwood's "The Cracked Mirror: Reflections of an Appalachian Son" is a brave, soulful read, which is imaginatively crafted (the story being told from the confines of an assisted living facility - the "way station" - while the main character, Prentice Paul Hiller, is recovering from hip replacement surgery). Memoirs (even ones admittedly fictional, as this one is) are often a good way of learning history. This book manages to do just that, painting a vivid picture of life growing up in rural Tennessee in the 30's and 40's. The story is told with frankness and insight - revealing one man's experiences, thoughts and feelings - warts and all - from early childhood through adulthood, and on into the "golden years". Along the way, the reader finds himself empathizing with the author's quest for inner peace and understanding of his personal life struggles. This book should be an inspiration to all of us - to find the motivation and make the time to pen our very own memoirs to leave for future generations.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I found this book to be a thoughtful, well told story of an interesting life. The author pulled no punches in baring his soul with refreshing candor and insight as well as good natured humor. I'm looking forward to reading his most recent book.
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