White Elephants - A Memoirby Chynna T. Laird
Elephant in the middle of the living room. That is one way of explaining how a family walks around the invisible presence of huge problems. Hindsight is what brings the elephant into focus. Somehow, Chynna T. Laird began to see at age five the bulky creature crowding her family. And from that time as the child, Tammy, she took on a sense of responsibility to her mother far beyond expectation for her age. Her mother was different than other mothers. Family life in their household was not pretty. No one seemed to notice. No one did anything about it, and Tammy wanted someone to do just that. As an adult, Tammy took on her first name, Chynna, and took up the challenge to find out what might have helped her mother fight her battle of self-destruction. She couldn't help her mother, but she would consider it worth everything if her family's story helped another.
- Eagle Wings Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 0.63(w) x 8.50(h) x 5.50(d)
- Age Range:
- 15 Years
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I tend to measure the books I read by what happens when I am not actually reading them. When I set the book down, does it speak to me? Does it push me to pick it back up? Does it suck me in and hold me there and then when the story is over, does it stay with me? To me that is a 5 star book and “White Elephants” was exactly that. When I started the memoir, I had no idea how the story would go, I was quickly sucked in by Chynna's words and when I had to set the book down to do something else, I quickly came back to it. Even a day after reading the book, memories of her words written still linger in my mind. Chynna Laird laid it all out on the line, showing us in words the essence of her very dark and stressful upbringing. Chynna gave insight into a world that very few know about and those that have firsthand experience sometimes will not share because of the painful memories associated with it. The writing of the memoir was excellent. The scenes written graphically enough to show you what needed to be seen, yet not over bearing. Chynna starts out when she is 5 years old and continues on until she is in her thirties. The stories she reveals will tear your heart and make you wish that you could reach into the pages to help. I applaud Chynna for allowing the painful barriers to come down and for sharing her story. If others could read this, then maybe more people would get the help that they need. Thank you, Chynna for sharing. And thank you for fighting and surviving your past so that you could share your message with everyone. Your story will live inside of me for a long time, and that right there makes your book worth every word written!
Heart wrenching and inspirational are the first two words that come to mind. I could not put the book down. Chynna's childhood was way beyond anything I could even remotely imagine. What an uber talented writer to craft such a masterpiece.
My Thoughts and Opinion: An extraordinary read!!! A memoir that was both emotionally disturbing yet inspirational. Chynna Laird, author, penned and shared a very transparent look into her abusive childhood and how she took back her power to become a scarred but forgiving and content adult. Her writing style is exceptional. A book so engrossing that I read it in 2 days because it was the type of book one could not stop reading. A story that HAD to be read, wishing it was fictional due to the trauma that this author had lived. I kept thinking how painful it must have been for her to write this book because she had to revisit so many tormented memories. Her young life living with an alcoholic parent with mental illness that was not treated, cared for improperly by a parent that was not equipped to love, having to be the adult at the age of 8 for her younger siblings and being molested at 12, attempted suicide when she was 15, just to name a few. Her coping mechanisms to get through it all from her own use of drugs and alcohol, cutting, and eating disorder. As I said, I could not put this book down. Reading the excruciating agony of a child, who felt "trapped and hopeless" was heart wrenching!! Knowing and wanting to help her mother, a child with adult thoughts of "fixing" her mother but not knowing how, riveting!! A story that consumed, captivated, and had me feeling an array of emotions, that at times were overwhelming. As a parent myself, I found myself agonizing for this child. And I also found myself to be so angry with the parent, at times even detesting, but then also realizing that she was a very troubled woman with untreated diseases. As distressing as this story was, it was also inspirational. It was about this battered child, who had lived through in surmountable times but prevailed to become a forgiving, sympathetic, loving adult. A spell binding read!! Poignant and profound!!! Off the chart read!! Touching!! I definitely recommend this book, it will stay with you for many years to come!!! My Rating: 5+