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Till Human Voices Wake Us Paperback – April 30, 2013
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About the Author
I am a published author -- 8 books, mostly non-fiction. I find myself in the same situation many authors do these days. Getting publishers to say yes is really hard. Particularly with fiction. So I've dipped my toe into self-publishing with my new novel, Till Human Voices Wake Us. It made the rounds of publishing houses, garnered a lot of interest but no offers. I've written a lot about my famous family, the Reagans -- maybe this non-autobiographical novel was too much of a departure for publishers to wrap their heads around. But now there is KDP and the room to publish a book yourself. It's exciting to me -- a new era in publishing. Most writers have books they have labored over for years and long to put out into the world. Till Human Voices Wake Us is one of those books.
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Top customer reviews
At the get-go, the book, for me, begins with a symbolic metaphor: the title. "Till Human Voices Wake Us". That sentiment is part of the final line in one of my favorite T.S. Eliot poems - "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock". Was Ms. Davis aware of it? How could she not be? She is a prolific writer! It is so rich the way in which she used this metaphor. The last part of the poem's thought, "...and we drown", made the choice of title, itself, an insight. It set the stage for the theme of this story: it took a drowning to awaken the human voice within Isabelle Berendon -- the human voice of loss, of love, of renewal, of recovery, of forgiveness, of discovery and of survival.
It's not the typical story of the push-pull and final relationship breakdown of a couple who is dealing with a horrific loss that neither of them know how to rebound from. It's not the characteristic growing apart tale of two people who fail to work through their grief together so that they can both come out of the devastation of that loss, still intact as a couple on the other side of it, and jointly stronger, because of the sorrowful tie that now binds them. It ventures into a topical subject matter that is at the forefront of our news stories today. This added element of intrigue to the gut-wrenching experience of Isabelle losing her child, is that the comfort she finds during her grief doesn't come from her husband, but from her sister-in-law. Therein, lies the heart of the story. In losing the voice of her child, Isabelle finds her TRUE voice--her authentic self, when she discovers only in the aftermath of this life-shock which blows her world apart, and only while working through her overwhelming grief, does she unearth the new normal in her world of new normals: that she is a lesbian.
Let me just say that the "same-sex" aspect of this story is both tastefully and beautifully written, and it does not overshadow other key elements of this stories thrust. The story is, at its crux, about healing and forgiveness. It is also a narrative of self-exploration and excavation. Sometimes, we have to lose something significant and walk through the fire to truly discover who it is we are. Through Isabelle's journey, we see her put the pieces of her life back together not only in the development of this surprise relationship, but also in her relationships with both her step-daughter, who she continues to raise and her mother, who embarks on her own life-altering journey.
I give this book a glowing--resounding--enthusiastic five stars. It's worth your time. It's a great read. I daresay you won't put it down. "Till Human Voices Wake Us" is a story about the human condition in all of its various forms: the ups and downs, the trials and tribulations, the losses and recoveries, the frailties and complexities that is life. There is a two-fold message garnered from this story: joy will evolve from the mourning, and joy will eventually return in the morning. Life will never be the same, but it can be good again in its newly found place.
Some stories not only touch the heart of our compassion, but enrich our perspective of humanity. This is one of those stories. I encourage you to read it. It will not disappoint. It will broaden your insights into very real-life situations and emotions that touch us all in some capacity during our own lifetimes. When we gain added dimension regarding these two ideals: compassion and humanity, we are all the better for it. Give it a read. Regret is not something you'll experience in doing so. Thank you, Patti, for broadening MY horizons. I eagerly await your next publication.
I found the relationship between the wealthy sisters-in-law an interesting and original situation. Davis weaves a powerful story that originates from the catalyst, the death of Isabelle's son Nathan, through the life and psychological changes each character experiences. She demonstrates skillfully and adeptly the irregular and unpredictable form a family can assume, the bonds created, maintained and strengthened through risk, love and trust. Her book presents some very timely themes.
Davis' language is beautifully literary, and she evokes raw and profound visceral responses from her characters as they grapple with change, death, grief and healing. I came away from the book feeling that the story was ultimately about the most basic desire to be one's true self; to live a life built on honesty and integrity.
A very impressive novel, and I will recommend it.
I have read many books by Patti Davis and all have been very good as I thought this one would be, instead it was great!
I have to admit this book is not what I was expecting from her, it was so very much more and I loved it and hope she continues to write more like this.
I consider Patti Davis to be a very gifted author and with this book she proves this again, this is one lady who should not be held down to one genre as she seems very capable to write about anything and do it very well.
This is one book I wish would not have ended and I don't think that about many books.
I have recommended this book to my friends and so should you as it's well worth the read.
I truly wish more authors were this versatile, she truly has a way with words.
Thank you, Patti Davis and please continue to write.
As someone else wrote in another review, I had no idea that Patti Davis was such a talented author. Well, I sort of did, because I remember reading an article in "People" after the loss of her father, and knew then that Ms. Davis wrote prose that spoke volumes with each word. Yet I still did not realize just how beautifully she writes. And I am so glad that I read this book.
I don't want to ruin the story for anyone, but I will say that it was one of those special books that will remain with me forever. Thank you Patti Davis, for giving me peace and good memories too.
I found this to be a fascinating character study, and Davis has a wonderful touch with both words and situations. I thought it ended a bit abruptly, perhaps an epilogue would have helped, but it didn't detract from the overall experience.
This is a book that stays with you and I found myself still thinking about it days after I'd finished it. Worth the read, but don't read it unless you're in a good mood!
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