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I'm here to help Paperback – June 26, 2012
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About the Author
A lifelong Northern Californian, S F Chapman traded his construction job for the more docile profession of novelist in 2008 when the US economy faltered. The tireless author has since written eight books. His first, “I'm here to help” (published by Striped Cat Press in July of 2012), is a literary fiction novella about a teenage daughter looking for answers to some troubling inconsistencies in her birth certificate. “The Ripple in Space-Time” (published by Striped Cat Press in February of 2013) is Chapman's second book. It is an exciting science fiction detective adventure set in a moldering and corrupt future controlled by greedy warlords. The author’s third novel “On the Back of the Beast” is an action-packed Contemporary Fiction tale about a massive earthquake that destroys the San Francisco Bay Area. It now available from Striped Cat Press. Other completed works awaiting publication are the post-apocalyptic soft science fiction MAC Series consisting of “Floyd 5.136,” “Xea in the Library” and “Beyond the Habitable Limit;” and a recently completed sequel to “The Ripple in Space-Time” entitled “Torn From On High.” Chapman is currently writing a rough-and-tumble literary fiction novel about homelessness called “The Missive In The Margins.” S F's huge gray male tabby cat keeps him company while he writes and was the inspiration for Striped Cat Press.
Top customer reviews
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I was on pins and neetles and didn't put it down until I finished.
The story itself is good. Kept me interested enough to finish before going to bed even though I was tired. However, there were a few odd things. The author mostly did a good job of telling the story from a mother's viewpoint and I was surprised when I read the author's bio to discover that S. F. Chapman was, indeed, a man. The beginning seemed very awkward, almost like he had a story but didn't know how to start and just threw the first few paragraphs in as an opener. Both the word choices and style just seemed clunky. After that, I'm not sure if the writing got better or if I just became used to it so that it was easier to ignore as I became engrossed in the story. There were a few glaring mistakes that jolted me right out of the story though, such as using the word stigmatism when the word I'm sure he meant was stigma. Other than that, mostly well-edited and a good story.
What makes SF Chapman succeed in his writing (and this reviewer has read only this, his first book I'M HERE TO HELP thus far) is the quiet simplicity in the way he unfolds his stories. He finds the language pertinent to each character, knows how to build momentum, and understands that resolution of a story's message can truly be only in the effect it has on the reader: he honors that concept well.
The story quite simply is a universal one - the reaction of adopted children to the dichotomy of birth parent versus adopted parent. Chapman wisely introduces ethnic sidebars that serve to not only make the mystery more interesting, but pay honor to the many incidents of the need for certain ethnic groups to give up their newborn for circumstance associated with their place in life at the time of birth. While Chapman does not preach about this, he leaves a ping in the heart in the way he manages the subject.
Highschooler Renita, in college applications, enters a sea of quandary when one of the applications asks for a birth certificate, a document with inconsistencies that at first seem only odd but develop into a questioning of her adopted mother Sharon who explains the complexities through the images of old and new photographs on the living room wall. The secrets of Renita's birth mother and the relationship between the birth mother and Sharon unfold in a story that is rich in compassion, some regrets, and a demonstration of the depth of love mothers have for their children. To reveal more would dampen the effect of reading SF Chapman's fine first novel. Grady Harp, December 13
Relying on family photographs Sharon leads Renita through the events that preceded and surrounded her birth, candidly admitting to her own failings and reiterating her profound love for her adopted daughter.
The story is both tragic and uplifting. It definitely deserves to be read!