Monday, December 28, 2009

Start the New Year with Podcast Featuring Author K. L. Lewis

Please plan to make the WITS podcast interview series part of your New Year's Day as we welcome author K. L. Lewis. She will be discussing her new release Kendra's Pearl. This book tells the story of young Kendra Haywood and her mother Pearl. Kendra loses her father to a motorcycle accident before she starts kindergarten and, for the remainder of her childhood, becomes the recipient of her mother's rage and resentment. Along the way, the readers meet the extended members of Kendra's family, who try to their best to help despite their own personal flaws.

Kendra's Pearl is a novel that exposes the reality of emotional abuse that all too often occurs between mothers and daughters and the efforts to break that destructive cycle.

Please visit the Amazon website to purchase Kendra's Pearl.

You can read more about K. L. Lewis and her work at her blog.

Title of Document: Book Review
Book Title: Kendra’s Pearl
Author: K. L. Lewis
ISBN: 978-0-595-53513-2
Publisher: iUniverse
Genre and Target Market: fiction; family relationships; emotional abuse
Publication Date: 2009
Book Length in Pages: 159

Reviewed by: Sarah Moore

For me, it is easy to enjoy a piece of literature if the story is well-written and the characters are believable. I have had a passion for reading ever since I was old enough to hold a book, so I enjoy the opportunity to get lost in the written word. However, most of these books lose my attention soon after I finish reading the last page. It was a great read and I will recommend the author to others, but I quickly move onto the next selection that interests me at the library or local bookstore. There are instances, though, in which the writing and the emotions of a novel are so powerful that they resonate with me long after I close the cover and place the book back on my shelf. Such is the case with the new release Kendra’s Pearl by author K. L. Lewis.

Kendra’s Pearl, the first work of fiction for Lewis, focuses on the life of a young girl who finds herself a primary target of her mother’s emotional and physical abuse. This tragic cycle begins when Kendra is only a preschooler and her father is killed in a motorcycle accident, and worsens as her mother enters relationships that are destructive and result in more children towards whom she throws her resentment. The novel follows Kendra through her entire childhood and into her independence as an adult, through which the readers will discover if she develops the strength and the life skills to create a life better than the one her mother had known.

K. L. Lewis uses language to create vivid, emotional scenes for her readers. There were multiple instances in which I actually felt a physical reaction to the rage and abuse that Kendra’s mother, Pearl, heaped upon her beautiful, young daughter. The cast of characters who create Kendra’s extended family try their best to offer support to Kendra and her siblings, but also struggle with their own dysfunctions and addictions that are revealed throughout the book. Lewis really captures the sense of chaos that dominates Kendra’s life. From her time as a young child and through the adolescent years during which every girl needs a sense of confidence and safety, Kendra rarely had a safe place to fall.

Whether or not the readers of Kendra’s Pearl grew up in a home with an abusive parent, I imagine that many of them will be able to relate to the book in some way. I know that I certainly have experience with being treated poorly by a person from whom I only desired love and attention, and that made Kendra’s story personal for me. K. L. Lewis’ writing is raw and brutal in its depiction of Kendra Haywood and her family, making it obvious that the author wanted to evoke a strong reaction from her readers. There is no sugarcoating within the pages of Kendra’s Pearl, and the result is both disturbing and captivating.

It did not take many pages of Kendra’s Pearl for me to become a fan of K. L. Lewis’ writing. She made me care about the characters in her novel, each of whom was skillfully developed to be a multidimensional personality. There were no “good” or “bad” people in Kendra’s Pearl, because their problems are much too complex for these simple descriptions. I was able to find reasons to criticize, as well as sympathize with, each one. I certainly hope that Ms. Lewis plans to continue with more published books, as her writing provides an important message about the human condition and the complexity of family.

Bookmark and Share

No comments: