The Wooden Chair

The Wooden Chair

by Rayne E. Golay
5.0 3

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The Wooden Chair 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
Emotionally jarring, The Wooden Chair by Rayne E. Golay is another for the Hidden Gem Treasure Trove! To what lengths would you go to earn the approval and love of an abusive parent? Leini went so far as to lose the sight in one eye, and still, her mother let her know she was not wanted or loved, that she would never measure up to her mother’s twisted standards. It isn’t that Leini doesn’t know love, she has other family members who try to make up for the damage her mother has caused. Through the years, an insecure young woman triumphs over every hurdle placed before her, becomes a well-educated woman, treasured wife and moving mother, but still cannot overcome the hole in her heart caused by her alcoholic mother. How can Leini reconcile that the problem does NOT lie with her? Now that she is older, she questions why no one stood up for her, she was just a child! Will she ever find an inner peace? Rayne E. Golay has pulled no punches with her frank and brutal story of child abuse and its lasting effects. I felt the heartache and confusion of young Leini, the mental torment of an adult Leini. This is a story that has repeated itself throughout the world and the ages. It is a story of desperation, self-discovery, and learning to forgive, if possible. One cannot read The Wooden Chair without being deeply affected by the inner strength of Leini or the heinous nature of the abuse she suffered. This is an eye-opening read from a very talented author that deserves to be read and read again, shared with others and recommended to all. I wish to thank Ms. Golay for allowing me to read this amazing tale.
Dr-Bob-Rich More than 1 year ago
As a counseling psychologist who has to help clients cope with the results of childhood abuse or neglect, I’ve often thought that some people should not be allowed to be parents. The heroine of this story, Leini, is a perfect illustration of the damage a child can suffer. I instantly loved Leini within the first few sentences, but, sadly, her mother Mira didn’t. The heart of fiction is characterization. On that basis, The Wooden Chair is a great book. The people leap off the page, and while reading I was in there, wanting to shake some sense and decency into Mira, giving Leini the love she needed, even identifying with several of the minor characters. The plot is a down-and-up: at first Leini went down and down, eventually following her mother in using alcohol and cigarettes as emotional crutches, then the slow way up, to eventual healing. The journey toward healing is very realistic, very touching, and very admirable. Do I have criticisms? I was surprised at how well Leini’s younger brother Sami turned out. In real life, I’d have expected him to become a spoiled brat with a chip on his shoulder. And the psychiatrist’s techniques are not quite what I’d have used -- but then he’d practiced 50 years ago, and probably he was excellent for his times. This brings me to time and place. As an historical novel set in a country that will be esoteric to most people, The Wooden Chair rings absolutely true. Rayne Golay took me THERE and THEN, and not once did anything about time and place jar on me. Finally, this is a book written from the heart, and will appeal to those with a heart. Shouldn’t that be all of us?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've received a copy of THE WOODEN CHAIR from the publisher, Untreed Reads, against a review. Once in a blue moon do you come across a story as beautifully told as Rayne E. Golay’s The Wooden Chair.  Vibrant language, perfected dialogue, details that flare in the imagination as if the scene itself were happening before your eyes are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this emotionally impactful story Golay has woven together. She has seamlessly mastered the art of wordsmithing and captures us in a grim world with her storytelling prowess. The Wooden Chair is a powerful story that follows Leini, who at the beginning of the story is four years old. Leini routinely suffers physical and emotional abuse from her mother. To add further tension, the backdrop for Leini’s story is set during World War II in Finland and her “Papi” is on the war frontlines.  As we grow to fall more and more in love with Leini, our despise deepens for Mira, her mother, who becomes increasingly volatile and self-destructive as the story unfolds. Readers are pulled even further into this dark tale as we experience a tense family dynamic kindled between Leini and her baby brother, Samy, with Samy being the preferred child by Mira.  And to further tug at our feelings of empathy for the protagonist, Leini is also suffering with a crippling vision impairment that causes many heated, as well as heartfelt scenes at opportune moments in the story.  Though I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Wooden Chair and developing a relationship with Leini, I do wish at times the pace of the narrative better progressed. There were moments when I felt the story lulled. With that being said, this is a book I will find myself reading and enjoying time and time again. With Golay’s book in hand, be prepared for a ride that will hit every notch on your emotional spectrum. You’ll read to the end and want to go back and start over just to relive the artistry of this well-crafted novel.