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Saving Phoebe Murrow Paperback – September 2, 2016
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This is Herta’s debut novel. She tackles cyber bullying, which as a parent scares the hell out of me. Now this book is totally a novel but was a total educational book for me. I totally recommend parents to read this and start an open conversation with their children…. Isabel is a lawyer, a wife and a mother of a 14 year old and 10 year old... She is like every mother I know, she is trying to do it all and questions every decision she makes. ... Saving Phoebe Murrow was an amazing and heartbreaking story. I loved Phoebe and my heart broke for her. Herta’s writing was amazing, she really made me think. Bullying was one thing when I was in high school. It was notes and rumors and just mean girls you could kind of avoid….now a days cyber bullying is WOW..I have no words. The things that happened in this book at the hands of mean girls is terrifying. I highly recommend everyone to read this book and have a discussion with your children about kindness, let's end bullying….again I will get off my soap box. (Stephanie Showmaker (STEPH AND CHRIS’S BOOK REVIEW) 2016-08-08)
An emotionally weighty look at a teen's pain and her mother's attempts to soothe it. [...] This book is satisfyingly coherent and compulsively readable.(Emily Harburg, Washington Independent Review of Books 2016-11-03)
About the Author
Herta B. Feely is a writer and full-time editor. Her short stories and memoir have been published in anthologies and literary journals, including The Sun, Lullwater Review, The Griffin, Provincetown Arts, and Big Muddy. In the wake of the James Frey scandal, Feely edited and published the anthology, Confessions: Fact or Fiction? She was awarded the James Jones First Novel Fellowship and an Artist in Literature Fellowship from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities for The Trials of Serra Blue. She has also received an award from American Independent Writers for best published personal essay for a piece on immigration. In Saving Phoebe Murrow, Feely continues her commitment to activism on behalf of children. A graduate of UC Berkeley and Johns Hopkins University, Feely is the co-founder of Safe Kids Worldwide, an organization dedicated to saving children from unintentional injuries, the leading killer of children in the United States. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and cats. (hertafeely.com)
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Top Customer Reviews
I see now at the ending why the butterfly was there. Once you read or, or if you have already read it, think in terms of 'holding a butterfly too tight' you may crush it, also, if you let a butterfly go, it may come back to you. Do not kill its spirit of freedom. Balance between caring about it and letting it fly is important to this story.
Although this story was primarily based around Phoebe and her Mother it has other interesting characters within it. One in particular was Sandy, showing how the past can damage the future.
Pheobe's Mother Isabel was balancing her carer as a Lawyer and rearing her teenage daughter along with her husband.
I felt her husband had a balance at times on certain situations however, her Mother was quite black and white about certain areas in life and her emotions of how she looked at certain things didn't come to the fore as some Mums would. I felt that was more to do with her carer choice than as a human being.
When you have certain carers or jobs you have to remain impartial and it seemed that sometimes her Mother's 'warmth and understanding' did not come across in the ways that it should.
Black, white, no grey areas.
Do it, don't do it, take the consequences of your punishment.
The dad was a bit more relaxed towards certain situations appertaining to his daughter but I felt Isabel was the driving force and a force to be reckoned with at times.
Her Lawyer job overtook her 'reality' of life situations and 'duties' and she superseded those with reporting and interfering causes more undue problems for her daughter.
We have all heard of cyber bullying.
I have been cyber bullied by two authors in my early days of writing reviews. It was a horrible experience which made me think of giving up reviewing books altogether. But a friend and some authors talked with me and I carried on. and I am an adult this affected me more than I said.
What would it be like for a child, for a teen?
With Phoebe's emotional unbalance of 'cutting and causing harm to herself' just made matters worse.
The story at the start was quite slow, then it picked up a bit, then in some parts I was eager for the book to finish, I yawned a little in parts, but....as time went on it did pick up for me when I got inside the emotions of being a Mum, trying to do the right thing for your daughter [which inadvertently may be the worse you could do although morally its right but not for the domino effect it would have on your daughter], then I saw Phoebe as a 'good' girl. I don't think it was her at all with the problem it was her release in dealing with the problems that sometimes her Mother didn't deal too sensitively with.
Which then when I had finished the book I sat and thought.
Sometimes as parents we are all too quick to mete out a punishment to teach our kids a lesson in life. Because we "care" and because we want to steer them in the right direction.
But part of that 'right direction' is listening to them. Allowing them to talk and if they don't talk, then its up to us to encourage that and keep the line of communication open.
Maybe I am reading too deep into this but because at the end of the book, although this is fiction, the author was inspired to write this on an actual event of cyber bullying which ended up fatal I for one remember that and read that in the newspaper and saw it on TV.
So it impacted on me.
My children are grown. I don't have this cyber bullying to worry about. But its out there. Be aware of it.
For those in the UK who watch Coronation street, there is a storyline going on at the moment about bullying.
I HATE bully's of any description and their low level little lives.
As you can see, this book evoked quite a lot of emotions in me.
As a Mother.
As a working Mother whose children are growing up and had a job that dealt with 'doing the right thing' [black or white]
Lack of time in focusing on what was essential.
I need to mention that this entire story was one I won't forget in a hurry although it did make me yawn in some parts.
The emphasis on the relationship with Isabel and her daughter just had to be written like this to make an impact on the reader I feel. It came in at different sides of the coin.
Sandy who was one of Phoebe's friends Mother came across as a relaxed uncaring 'let the kids get on with it' kind of Mom, she just saw the kids as 'enjoying themselves'.
But later we see that Sandy had problems of her own.
This also taught me that we can't judge other parents to live up to the same standards we set in our family life. Each one has their own set of 'reasonable conduct' Of course we are going to see parents that just let their kids get on with is no matter what, and we won't agree.
Some parents won't even care about cyber bullying and expect the 'victim' to just 'take it on the chin' its only kids growing up.
Until we can change the attitudes it will continue.
Yes I have gone in too deep with the book but it impacted on me A LOT.
The only critic I have is the ending, I didn't like the ending, it was too abrupt.
My thanks to Upper Hand Press via Net Galley and of course the author for my early addition to this book
"Saving Phoebe Murrow" takes your worst fears about what is happening in your teenager's life - those things that they won't talk to you about - and puts it under a microscope. Herta Feely tells a story you wish could never be true, but due to the news and social media prevalence, you know that all parts of it are possible.
"Saving Phoebe Morrow" shows you multiple sides to the story of Phoebe, her former best friend and their mothers. Those mothers, who want to do the right thing and protect their daughters from the slights they perceive as damaging to an adolescent psyche.
Every mother will see parts of herself in these mothers - becoming the lioness to protect her young, probing for answers from a sullen, withdrawn child.. While most parents would not act out in a way that would hurt another child, one mother in this story will take her reaction to a situtation to the extreme - placing all of them on a path they can never come back from.
*For mature audiences*
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