Scar Jewelry, the story of a family with secrets, unfolds in the style of a mystery.
What do we really know about our parents or the ways they shape us? For twins Deirdre and Langston, 20, the answer is: not enough. Their father died before they were born and now, when a car crash puts their mother in a coma, the siblings suddenly realize they don't even know whom to notify. They’ve never questioned how little they know about their mother. Like many offspring, they assume there's not much to know.
It’s been a rough year for narrator Deirdre, who has stalled out after personal setbacks she won't discuss - not even with Langston - and who fears she is just like their mother, a woodwork dweller. Langston never faces such worries. Her twin in name only, his style and talents have launched him across the continent into a top university and flourishing social life - all of which he will compromise as they unravel their mother’s past.
As Deirdre and Langston question friends and acquaintances, snoop, and hack emails, a portrait emerges that barely resembles the mother they know. For starters, they discover that their father died four years *after* their birth. Why manufacture such a lie? Proliferating questions and unsettling answers await them before they finally learn why. As they come to understand choices their mother made that swerved their life paths as well as hers, they must ultimately reconsider their mother, their memories, and themselves.
Set in the present and in the early days of punk, this work of literary fiction has elements of mystery, psychology, family drama, and rites of passage across two generations, in a setting that vividly evokes southern California, then and now.
|File size:||408 KB|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
... Concert stage, dark except for a deep blue spotlight. Singer drops to one knee and his narration evolves from murmur to rant. "This is the story of a man who got what he wanted but he lost what he had. He got what he wanted but he lost what he had. He got –" ... It goes on forever. It's mesmerizing. Uncomfortable. Confessional. Pretty sure this memory is from the time I saw James Brown, decades ago, but the lost identity of the singer isn't the point. I've spent my life gazing across some fence or other, admiring greener grass over yonder. I've acted on so many impulses to jump the fence. No complaints, but it has sure taken me a long time to appreciate where I'm standing right now. And nowadays that blue spotlight chant fills my head whenever I contemplate a new jump. Sometimes I jump back. I was a low–budget television producer until I wrote a psychological thriller, "Was It A Rat I Saw", which Bantam–Doubleday–Dell published in hardcover in 1992. Soon after that I became the mother of twins, jumped into graduate school, and became a disaster scientist. I dabbled in academia, government research, and consulting. I stopped writing fiction for nearly two decades, until I noticed how much I missed it. I resumed writing novels with the literary fiction "Scar Jewelry" about a family with secrets that started in the era of Los Angeles punk and persist for decades; then began the speculative detective quartet FRAMES, with "Nica of Los Angeles" and "Nica of the New Yorks". Also in progress is a nine novella series, the young adult paranormal horror romance, "DDsE". Funny. Back in the day, I had a single book idea at a time. Now I'm flooded with them, can't keep up with them, though I write just about every day. I live in southern California. I had to leave for five years to confirm this is where I belong. I live with multiple cats, comfortably close to my twins and granddaughter. Like my life paths, my friends and family are all over the damn place. I like to visit them, spend time at the ocean, explore cities, and go out to hear live music.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is a far cry from the other Sue Perry book I have read( Frames 1: Nica). Its much more personal and focuses on choices we make that change the course of our history. Deidra and Langston, twins, Children of Heather and Nick, scarred by the loss of so many things. Reflecting their parents to no one but themselves. We enter the story, already in progress. Heather is in a coma due to a one car accident. Deidra is withdrawn into herself after the world has traumatised her. Langston, on full scholarship has literally gone as far from "home" as he can. Heather has chosen to not be forthcoming to any of them, acting as a martyr and taking on all the responsibility for whatever happens. There has been some question as to the "accidental nature" of the crash. This becomes a pivot point in the story as Diedra and Langston begin to restring their mother's life from the detris in her computer, and a few boxes brought together as they begin to reconstruct that which they had known, or not. They learn their fairly staid, protective mother was a rocker chick that wrote music reviews, pontificated current angry angst in columns written decades before. That the stories of parents can be easily coated with forgetfullness that may come back and bite you later on. Mom chose to remove her and her past, and even at some levels her present from her growing children who are now young adults being forced to find the pieces of their own story in the scattered debris "Heater" has left behind. This is a powerful story. Be forwarned. Its gonna stick with you for a long time
It is rare for a novel to stand out as a true original, but this one does. The quest for identity is not a new theme, but the way Perry handles it in this book is different than anything I have read before. Scar Jewelry (a title that immediately piqued my curiosity) unfolds in layers on layers as very unalike twins begin to realize that their seemingly ordinary mother used to be someone who bears almost no resemblance to the woman they know. And, in fact, she has done such masterful job of obliterating her own past that until the siblings are forced by a medical emergency to investigate their family history, they aren't even aware that there are secrets that have been hidden from them, secrets that not only reveal truths about their mother, but about themselves. Twins Deirdre and Langston, so temperamentally different from each other, bring their own views and feelings to both the quest and the revelations, which creates an intriguing dual point of view to the narrative, as well as new friction between the siblings. The plot is twisty and surprising without falling into the trap of over-convolution or confusion. As difficult as they may be to reach, there are logical answers to their questions, questions that continue to multiply as one answer inevitably spawns even more questions. There are plenty of "a-ha!" moments, but as in real life, resolutions are very rarely neat or complete. This story contains elements of mystery, psychology, family drama and rite of passage without ever allowing any of those genres to overwhelm or pigeon-hole the book; a narrative that is spring-loaded with tension keeps this moving at page-turner pace. Readers who know something about the history of the L.A. music scene may find themselves experiencing deja-vu. Those who aren't familiar with that scene will discover a fascinating world that existed for awhile, then morphed into something entirely different, in much the way that Deirdre and Langston find their core beliefs and expectations changing in very unexpected ways as they uncover truths that have been hidden from them all their lives.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I was originally attracted to this book because it was about twin and I am a twin. I liked Deirdre and Langston. The premise of the book was interesting. How well do you know your parents??? My only problem was that you had to read for a while before you actually could figure out what was going on. It was like coming into the middle of the conversation. Very confusing at first. Just when things seemed to be coming together, the book ended abruptly. Nothing was settled- nothing was defined. The characters seemingly went out of their way to know their mother but it just ends the way it started. In the middle.
In Scar Jewelry by Sue Perry, twins Deirdre and Langston who are very different in their personalities, set about to learn more about their mother who is in a coma. Their mother has done such a good job of covering up her past that they have no idea who she truly is or was . The way Heater/Heather has handled changing and hiding her identity is different in this book from anything I have ever read before. At first no-one wants to answer their questions, but eventually they do receive help from some of the Mother's life-long friends. Each new answer seems to lead to even more questions. With each twin having their own ideas about what they find and how it should be handled. With the twins even finding secrets about themselves. A real page turner to see what each new twist or turn will hold. Makes one wonder how well do we know our parents/loved ones? I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.