Freckled: a Memoir of Growing up Wild in Hawaii

Freckled: a Memoir of Growing up Wild in Hawaii

by T W Neal

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940156137497
Publisher: Toby Neal
Publication date: 12/30/2018
Sold by: Draft2Digital
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 30,498
File size: 8 MB

About the Author

Toby Neal was raised on Kaua'i in Hawaii. She wrote and illustrated her first story at age five and credits her counseling background with adding depth–from the villains to Lei Texeira, the courageous multicultural heroine of the Lei Crime Series, and all the rest of her characters. “I’m endlessly fascinated with people’s stories.”

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Freckled: A Memoir of Growing Up Wild In Hawaii 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous 19 days ago
Spans the good and the bad of growing up in Hawaii.
BeachDreamer117 20 days ago
Toby Neal is a truly gifted writer and this book may be the greatest example of that. I was taken on an emotional roller coaster while reading Toby’s memoir. There were times my heart just ached for young Toby and I could relate to her in many ways. She ended up inspiring me through her strength and perseverance for a “normal” life. It didn’t matter how many times she had to move, what conditions she lived in, or what she had to endure in her life. She always fought for more. Thank you for sharing this side of Hawaii with us, and for giving us a glimpse into your childhood.
Anonymous 21 days ago
Freckled is a heartfelt memoir of Toby Neal's memories growing up in Hawaii with hippie parents and how Toby used her imagination to enjoy life during trying times. Toby talks about the trial and tribulations growing up moving from place to place , changing schools, and being bullied because she was different while still trying to be a carefree happy child with beautiful surroundings . The hard times she went through made her determined to become the writer and have the success that she has created. A must read!
LGHudson 22 days ago
EMOTIONALLY MOVING I’ve been a fan of TW (Toby) Neal’s since her first Lei Crime Series Book was published. I’ve known she was happily married, mother of two grown children a Licensed Therapist and had grown up in Hawaii. Now that I have read her memoir, FRECKLED, I have a totally new respect for this talented author. I’ve read plenty of memoirs because I like to know the backstory. I have to say, this was not an easy read for me. I’m a few years older than Toby and had the opportunity to visit Hawaii during a period of time she wrote about. I couldn’t help but contrast my childhood/teenage years with hers. I have to say they were as totally opposite as could be possible! Neal writes with such honesty and clarity and provides her readers an opportunity to feel as though they are reliving her life with her. She is an amazing, resilient, goal oriented, spectacular woman who has overcome immense odds to achieve all the goals that she set as a young child/early teen. I think it’s very telling that in spite of all the struggles her family went through, READING was always a PRIORITY and her Mom read to her often and as soon as she could read, made sure she NEVER went without books! What an incredible gift! I believe if you can read & read well, you can do anything! Toby Neal should have been the Poster Child for Reading as a young child/teenager! Also, it helped foster her imagination and allowed her to become the gifted author that she is today. I was provided an ARC of this novel by the author. The opinions expressed here are completely my own and without influence.
SBI 23 days ago
A gifted writer, TW Neal deftly weaves her memoir of growing up on the island of Kauai as a freckled, red-headed ‘haole’ (a non-native born Hawaiian, especially one with white skin). Neal faced a childhood filled with racial discrimination in a place outsiders viewed as a paradise. Freckled is a powerful memoir of a resilient child aware enough to understand life with her parents was not what she desperately desired – one of being ‘normal’. Raised during a pivotal time in societal history, Neal’s parents were self-absorbed with their ideals, dreams and addictions, leaving her to often run wild when she wasn’t busy taking care of her siblings or working hours at what was supposed to be her father’s job. Neal writes of her loneliness, isolation, loss and neglect, which often came with her parent’s decisions. Those decisions have her bouncing between attending school or not, living in precarious situations or staying with grandparents on California’s coast. One of Neal’s saving graces was that she could read from an early age, and the library was one of her beloved havens from the chaos her life often held. Books opened her eyes to the wonders of the world outside her small universe, and were constant non-judgmental friends. Having no restrictions on what she read, she often raised the librarian’s eyebrows on her choice of books. Neal writes with the emotions and voice of the child she was, and as the memoir progresses in time, so does Neal’s voice and emotional growth progress. Throughout the memoir, the strength of character Neal shows, despite the abuse, uncertainty, and instability of the life thrust upon her, shines brightly. Freckled and TW Neal captured my heart. I wanted to hold the child Toby close, give her stability with complete acceptance and love, and the assuredness that she was a beautiful spirit – inside and out.
Anonymous 23 days ago
I laughed and cried at the antics. This freckled child of drug influenced hippie parents shows that humble beginnings are not a map of life. If you have never read Toby Neal's work you are in for an incredible treat in this memoir. Toby grew up in the late 1960's, 1970's and beyond. She was a curious and inquisitive child who early took on the role of child-parent to her younger siblings. Living in cars, tents and an occasional room or house, she grew. At a young age she discovered the racial discontent of the locals and haoles (caucasians). She spent much of her time as a free spirited individual all while tending "her flock." When she visited her grandparents in California, she discovered some of the luxuries of life. With a gentle push from friends and family, she completed her high school education, and her graduation from a Massachusetts university. Upon returning to her beloved Hawaii, she rekindled a friendship and became a wife, mother, and author. Toby is a winner and her story is worth the read.
LehuaParker 23 days ago
Children live in unseen spaces created by contradiction. Freckled is a raw, compelling, and ultimately hopeful memoir of growing up haole on Kauai where the idyllic freedom to surf, climb trees, and play Barbies runs counterpoint to a reality of homelessness, food insecurity, prejudice, violence, and the need be the adult when parents can’t. As outrageous as of some of the events may seem to outsiders, I know firsthand of the truth she speaks. At times a celebration of the best within each of us as well as a witness of both human frailty and resilience, T.W. Neal’s memoir is a must-read for those Hawaiian and Hawaiian at heart.
Anonymous 23 days ago
I was given an advance copy of this book by the author. Here are just a few of my feelings and thoughts: This story really got to me on a personal level. My family, with 3 daughters right at Toby’s age, moved to Hawaii in 1968, so our life paralleled hers in many ways. We knew how it felt to be in the minority, something I’ve been truly grateful for as we’ve lived the rest of our lives. Although we didn’t go through the bullying and hardships as Ms. Neal did, her story brought back memories of what it means to be a part of the Hawai’ian culture – on many levels. I know some parts of this story were hard for Toby to write about, but I can only think it was a sort of cleansing exercise for her. She writes about some things that I would hesitate to even put in a personal journal, but has tenderly and vividly put out there for us, as readers, can certainly reflect on and learn from the lessons that life has given us. Her life story is full of strength, conviction in believing oneself, making dreams come true. I’m in awe at her determination to rise above a situation that many would find impossible, to continue to be her best self, and to put it all out into the world, for everyone to see. NO! For everyone to learn from, to draw on our own strengths, to continue to believe in ourselves. Thank you, Toby Neal!
Nadine_H 23 days ago
After reading my ARC copy I sat down and wrote this review with tears streaming down my cheeks. Now Toby Neal is not only one of my favorite authors but also one of my heros. She grew up in Kauai i in the wilderness with hippies for parents living in shacks if lucky or camping out in tents or their van with no modern conveniences. Well, let me tell you, I know I wouldn't have survived this yet she took care of her younger siblings and alcoholic drug addicted parents. She was bullied relentlessly by the Hawaiian natives while trying to make up for not being the son her father wanted. Yet after all this she becomes a college graduate let alone a published author of many action packed books. If you liked The Glass Castle and even if you didn't, you won't want to miss reading Freckled. I promise you that you will not be sorry.
Royce Piro 23 days ago
What an amazing story and what an amazing human who lived it! I am impressed by Toby’s vivid recollection of her childhood growing up in rural Hawaii in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Having lived in Hawaii during this time frame, it all rang very true for me and brought back many memories. Despite her parents’ lack of self-awareness or responsibility to their growing family, Toby always kept her eye on the prize of what she wanted for her life. She did what she needed to do to achieve that, despite every obstacle put in her way. This story will stay with me for a long time
Anonymous 23 days ago
What an awe inspiring book. The trials that Toby survived and had to overcome is just amazing. The story of surviving not only her parents addiction to drugs and alcohol but also the addiction to surfing and living in the area of Hawaii as a non-native is just so heartening and uplifting! Being a “freckled” person in the area they lived in also added to Toby’s anguish. The fact that Toby has survived and become such a great person is not surprising as the stubbornness and intelligence Toby had from the beginning was the foundation she built her life on. Loved reading about the different areas of Hawaii and the ways that people lived and survived the life they lead in the different areas. The descriptions of the areas sucked me in from the start. The bond between Toby and her sisters made me think of my own sisters. The fact that I got angry, cried and laughed while reading the book is in tribute to Toby and her style of writing! Loved every page and picture in this book!
jamieelizabeth77 23 days ago
Memoirs aren't my usual go-to reading choice, but this opportunity to learn more about a successful author's background was not to be missed. I thoroughly enjoyed this engaging tale of overcoming childhood and experiencing Hawaii through Toby's childhood eyes to find out where her deep-rooted love of the islands began.
Ellen-oceanside 23 days ago
FRECKLED by Toby Neal This could come with a warning on the cover. We know of Toby the author, thru her books the thrills and adventure she gives us. Her life with Mike the pictures she shares of her surroundings. She seems to glow with life and love. This story of her upbringing is one of deep emotion, she did, she survived, would be appropriate. The joy of no clothes when swimming, the spankings were more than we as readers could handle. The sisters to come and share with. Finishing her senior years away from family. Her nickname ‘never enough girl’ her ambition and dreams as though they were bad. A book that gave us an inside look of a land she loves, the good and the bad she has shared with us. It was a hard journey to write this, a cleansing, and we thank Toby for sharing. Given ARC for my voluntary review and my honest opinion.
Penelope_R 23 days ago
Toby Neal's memoir, Freckled: A Memoir of Growing up Wild in Hawaii, is engaging, poignant, enlightening, and entertaining. It also explains how she is able to create characters with such depth and convincing backstories. One always thinks of Hawaii as a paradise, but even a paradise can be a painful place to be with under-employed and over-stimulated parents trying to survive as poor outsiders (haoles) to the native peoples. Toby's life story from age 3 to 18 is, at times, inspiring, sad, funny, encouraging, frightening, and always a reflection of a child who is a little bit larger than life, and how difficult that can be when growing up. (I encourage you to have a box of tissues handy. You might just need them.) I highly recommend this book as a stand-alone read. If you are unfamiliar with Toby's fiction, this should spur you into sampling her work. Toby is an excellent writer of fiction and with this foray into non-fiction, we learn she is equally good at both.
dicox 23 days ago
I first met Toby though her novels. As I started Freckled, I knew her ability to create beautiful settings – her attention to detail, the ability to paint gorgeous word pictures so that her readers experience the settings of her stories. Growing up with her in Freckled, revealed the foundation of her descriptions. Matching the color of her environment to the names of her water colors shows how deeply she saw all that surrounded her on Kauai. I also knew how masterfully she created stories. I discovered that her voracious reading as a child had provided escape as well as a foundation in literature which has nurtured her story telling today. Freckled spoke to me on several levels – the story of a young girl growing up in a difficult family situation; the story of a culture in Hawaii during the 70’s that was different than where I lived; a look at how my fact centered approach to life varies from Toby’s artistic approach. Let Toby guide you through her early years and see how they molded the strength of her adult years as a therapist and the brilliance of her novels.
BBarber 23 days ago
I just finished my ARC copy and wow. This book brought me into the story on the first line. Toby has a way with writing that makes you feel emotions. I could see the young girl living in a place and time not a lot of people could survive. The what I call "struggles of love" the family had to go through. How many years this very vibrant girl pulled herself up and gave the world everything she could. Parents sometimes don't know how to be parents. They suck at it. But somewhere along the way they help you resize things that help you become the person you are suppose to be. You can love someone with all your heart but you don't have to like them. Toby not only had to raise herself but also her younger sisters. You can see the bond grow different but strong between each one. To try and fit in is sometimes the loneliest thing in the world. I could relate to being different and not fitting in. Kids are sometimes the biggest bullies of them all. They don't have as many filters as a adult and so they don't know how far under the skin they get. There is a lot of funny stories to. Toby's horse had me laughing out loud. I never get tired of hearing stories about the past and how people lived. The history in this book about the islands are just as interesting as the story. When I seen Mike's name I knew it was time for some happy endings. I am in awe as to how this book turned out. How all the feelings came through. You most deferentially will need to grab a box of tissues right from the beginning
AntanasB 24 days ago
I am not a fan of biographies in general but as I am a big fan of Toby Neal books - I was very excited to read her story. Also was fortunate to receive an ARC. Hawaii for me was and still is something out of a fantasy (I have never been there even though have lived in the U.S. for some time but would surely like to visit one day). Also hippie lifestyle is something that I have only seen in movies and documentaries. Story itself I did enjoy as both the documentary of those unique times and as quite a rollercoaster of human drama with many "downs" and thankfully some significant "ups" as the story draws to a conclusion. It is very emotional and I feel I understand Toby Neal style of writing and her characters much better now that I have read this book.
Kylady498 5 days ago
I've read all of Toby Neal's books and have enjoyed every one of them. This book had me laughing and crying. I wanted to take these children home with me to love and cherish them. She and her sisters came from nothing and became very successful individuals. Read and enjoy this book but don't think just because you have finished it you'll stop thinking about it and discussing it.
ByeFelicia 7 days ago
Toby Neal has been a favorite author of mine for sometime now. Upon hearing that she was coming out with a memoir, I jumped at the chance to read it even though memoirs aren’t my usual read. I thoroughly enjoyed traversing back in time with Toby as she takes us through her journey growing up in Hawaii. She pulled me into her early life and I connected with her lonely childhood as she strives to try and fit in. I longed for her happiness and my heart broke for the many obstacles she endured. I felt as though had it been another time and place, we could’ve been great friends. As tough as life had been for Toby, she became an amazingly wonderful woman. An example of what love and forgiveness can do if you learn to let go of what haunts you.
Anonymous 9 days ago
A pleasure to read of the trials and tribulations of growing up. Toby draws such vivid pictures of her early life. Very insightful and inspiring. A page turner in every sense.