Those Children Are Ours

Those Children Are Ours

by David Burnett


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Jennie Bateman screamed at her daughters, cursed at her husband, packed a bag, and walked away. Twelve years later, she petitions the family court for visitation with her daughters, Alexis and Christa.
Her attorney tells Jennie that, ordinarily, she could not imagine that some type of visitation would not be granted. But, she warns, the situation is hardly ordinary.
True, Jennie suffered from a bipolar disorder when she began to drink heavily, abandoned her family, and moved in with another man. True, she has turned her life around: leaving her boyfriend, returning to school, entering therapy, taking medication, finding a job, and joining a church.
But she pressed no claim for her children when her husband divorced her, and she has made no attempt to contact them in any way since then. Her daughters, now sixteen and fourteen, live four hundred miles away. They have busy lives that do not include her, lives that will be totally disrupted by the visitation that she requests. Their father is engaged to be married to a woman who has taken the role of their mother for a decade. Alexis remembers nothing good about Jennie. Christa recalls nothing at all.
Conflict ensues as soon as Jennie's petition is served: her former husband does not want to share his children with the woman who deserted him; her children have no interest in knowing the mother who abandoned them, and her father insists that she is being timid and ought to demand full custody, not simply visitation.
As court convenes, Jennie's past is dredged up− the desertion, the men, her drinking, her mental health − and paraded before the judge. Her claim to be a different person, now, is attacked. The judge hesitates to grant Jennie's request, but reluctantly agrees to order three trial visits.
If persuading the judge to let her see her children was difficult, convincing them to allow her to be a part of their lives seems to be almost impossible. She struggles through two visits and is almost. What happens next tests her confidence in herself, her love for her children, and, ultimately, threatens her life, itself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781515100270
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 09/01/2015
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.46(d)

About the Author

CHRIS SALEWICZ has been writing on popular culture for more than 20 years. He wrote Bob Marley: Songs of Freedom. Salewicz edited the booklet contained in the 4-CD box set Tougher Than Tough: The Story Of Jamaican Music, and co-wrote the script for the 1999 movie Third World Cop, which broke Jamaican box office records.

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Those Children Are Ours 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
MyLifeAsMummy More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book. I wanted to read it because it was so different. You rarely get a Mum going to court for access to their children, it's more likely for the Dad to go. This book brings out so many emotions. Sadness because Jennie hasn't seen her children in 12 years. I couldn't imagine spending more than a day without my babies! Anger, because she walked out on her babies. Part of me didn't want her to get access. She walked out, she abandoned them, how dare she think it's ok to come back 12 years later. Empathy, because of her mental health problems. I really suffer from mental health, especially anxiety. Happiness, when she starts to rebuild the relationship with her children. Despite 12 years absence, deep down, I believe all children should see both their parents. When I first started the book, I instantly knew I wasn't going to be able to put it down. I read it all in one go, not being able to stop, wanting to find out what happened next.
Silvie_MySillyLittleGang More than 1 year ago
This was such an emotional book. I have never met anyone whose Bipolar but now I can imagine how difficult it is. This is the story of Jennie who had an abusive childhood. After being married and having 2 children, she decides to leave them. This was a little hard for me to understand because I can't imagine ever being able to leave my boys. I have a horrible time leaving them on the first day of school. Anyway back to the book. Years go by and Jennie decides she wants to see how her children are. I won't say more because I don't want to spoil the book, but it is definitely one that you should read! I did receive this product discounted or free of charge in exchange for a review, however all opinions are 100% honest based on my own experience.
LynchburgMama More than 1 year ago
This book hits home (HARD!) for me except I am in the shoes of the father rather than the mother. As soon as I found out that I was expecting my first son at age 19, my life changed and it was centered around my children. I suffered from depression and anxiety but not ONE time did I ever think about leaving my children. I wanted to hate Jennie for what she put her husband and daughters through but when she turned her life around, I found myself feeling empathy for the mother. This is proof that actions speak louder than words. This story is a good lesson in that we shouldn't hang onto the past when people make legitimate (positive) changes in their lives - forgiveness is key! But just as Jennie starts to make starts to find her way back into their lives, everything is, once again, turned upside down and twisted. I love getting to view the situation from both sides because it makes me re-think my personal situation. If my boys' biological father showed some initiative and authentic movements in a positive direction, I would be more open to encouraging a relationship. Sadly, in our neck of the woods, the courts tend to side with those who can throw more money out on the table. I fight a difficult battle to keep my boys on the right path of life and to not give in to the destructive path that he brings them down at times. I was not expecting some of the twists and turns so I was quite intrigued and didn't put it down until I finished! If you are fighting a custody battle, I recommend grabbing a copy of this book. You'll learn to overlook the trivial things and concentrate on what really matters - a relationship with your children - no matter what the other parent is choosing for his/her path. I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.
ICanHasBooks_Miniegg More than 1 year ago
*I received a review copy as part of Beck Valley Books virtual book tour.* It's been twelve years since Jennie has seen her two daughters, walking out on them and her husband in a drunken fit of rage. Now after all this time she wants them back in her life, she wants to know them and them her. Jennie at the time of her marriage was unstable, drinking and sleeping around. Being neglectful of her children, caring only about herself. After befriending a preacher who frequented the bar/restaurant in which she was working started to take a long on hard look at herself and began to make the change to her life. Sobering up, going back to school and getting her masters. Attending church, giving up on men and seeking help for her issues. So many years have gone by will her daughters even want to see her? How will they react? Those Children Are Ours is a very touchy book, with many triggers that could upset its reader. We have a main character that you feel for, yet you can hate at the same time. BUT she is also a good example showing that people can change. That they can overcome their low points and pull themselves out of the dark. With this book we have a well rounded group of characters, some who you will hate no matter what, Jennie's father is one of those for me. There was nothing about the man that makes me feel that he can redeem himself ever. When I first started reading I thought that this was going to be basically a family drama type of book, I never expected the events that actually started to take place. Those Children Are Ours is well written and attention holding. Pulling on my heartstrings, and bringing out my mama bear instincts at times. I found myself wanting to know more about the lives of these characters once the book had ended. To me that is always a really good sign that I enjoyed the story, when the cast matters so much that I want more.
CharlotteLynnsReviews More than 1 year ago
I never saw how this book would end. Maybe it is weird that I am starting by talking about the ending but that is the part of the book that sticks with me the most. I was shocked, in fear, and in awe of how Jennie, Emma, and Thomas managed to work together to save their daughters. You have to read the rest of the book to get to the end, but it is so worth it. Jennie… I despised her. How could a mother leave her two young daughters and her amazing husband like that? How could she possibly think that they should let her back into their lives? Then I met the rest of her family. Most of them seemed kinda normal. Like my sister and brother, like my aunts and uncles and I thought okay, maybe she does deserve a second chance. I am still torn, does she? Did she do all she could? Is twelve years too long to repair the wounds and make bonds with her children? There are so many questions that go with reading Those Children are Ours. David Burnett does an amazing job of not playing favorites and of telling the truth of the whole story. This story was heart wrenching. It should the difference a good mother can make to a child and how an amazing father can make an upside down world seem to be okay. It also shows how it takes a community to raise children. While these girls did not have a mother, they did have teachers, friends, and other family members to step in and shoulder the weight when it was needed. I feel like I was focused on Jennie, the mother, more than the rest of the characters due to the fact that I am a mother myself. I could not put Those Children are Ours down. Every word, page, paragraph was wonderful. This is not an easy read or subject and it was handle with the grace and care that it deserved. I definitely recommend checking it out.
lifeasleels More than 1 year ago
Holy emotional read! I am the type of person who’s emotions show on very clearly on my face and I know that I made a few faces. I can only imagine what someone who may have seen me reading must have thought. As someone with a mental health disorder, I could relate to Jennie on a certain level. I would like to say that I would never, ever do what she did, but I can see how it would happen. Additionally, I have an “Askins” in my family as well. We used to have two, so I can absolutely put myself in those situations and clearly understand them. I can also see what Jennie is today and how much work she has put into herself and into her life. As a parent though, I am not sure I would be easily convinced to provide her visitation with my children, but at the same time, being an outsider to Jennie’s story; it almost seemed unfair to me that her past be held against her so much when she has tried so hard to change things around. Our past is our past for a reason and if you can prove that your past is no longer a part of your present, I believe you deserve a second chance. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The realism was perfect and I found myself among the characters (and wanting to be “verbal” myself with some!)
KeenlyKristin More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of this book from Beck Valley Books Book Tours in exchange for my honest review. This book resonated with me because I also struggled through an extremely difficult custody battle with my former husband. So, from that point of view, it rings true. As a result, it can be tough to read at times, because of its very realistic story line. One thing that’s definitely worth mentioning is that the author’s skillful character development. While I wasn’t in love with every character in the book, they made me feel something, one way or another. When I found myself resenting and hating someone, I realized, hey, this is stirring up emotion. That’s an accomplishment. If I had to rate the book, I’d have to give it four stars instead of five. That’s for two reasons — and they’re not huge problems, but I can’t ignore them (you might disagree, and that’s your right to do so, as is my right to not ignore them) — 1) a handful of typos and grammar errors and 2) occasional dialogue that reads awkwardly. The dialogue sometimes reads as too formal and proper, rather than conversational. Sure, some people do speak in perfect diction, but certainly not every character in the book, especially when they’re different ages and genders and education levels and so on. That all being said…I do not want to detract from this book. It’s a great story and it is told extremely well. I had trouble putting it down and I pored over every single page, eager to make my way through the journey of the characters. I like David Burnett. He has some serious skills, and we will be reaping the rewards.
WordsofaSAHM More than 1 year ago
I’m going to just say first off, get some tissues, because this book will take you through every single emotion you can have. It’s such a roller coaster, but in a good way! Simply amazing, I thought! I’ve never actually known anyone who has been diagnosed with being Bi-Polar, but if I had to guess, and if he went to the doctor for it, I do know someone who MIGHT just be that way. Totally confusing, because they can be happy go luck at one moment, then the next they’re ready to tear your throat out they’re so pissed at you. Doesn’t make sense! I’ve heard that it is genetic, which worries me, because well, I got genes from the person I spoke of. Jennie came from an abusive childhood, and her father was ever diagnosed with Bi-Polar Disease. Jennie got married and had 2 children and then one day, she just left. I just can’t even imagine leaving my kids. For that matter, I can’t imagine leaving my husband. He’s my rock. He’s so supportive. Anyways….. Years go by and Jennie decides she would like to see and get to know the daughters that she just left. Will her daughters ever forgive her? Can her ex-husband ever forgive her? He’s engaged to be married. I kept thinking, “Would I forgive her? I’ve been in this type of situation… Would I do it again?” You need to read this book.. The ending just might surprise you like it did me!
MikiHope More than 1 year ago
As usual David Burnett has written a beautiful novel that will grip you and make you think. Have you ever known anyone who is bi-polar? I have and in all honesty they can really confuse you. When they are on their meds all is well--when they are not--watch out! Alcoholism seems to go hand and hand with a person who is bi polar. You never know when they are going to snap at you or anyone else. It is genetic I believe and when you combine that with being abused as a child---well that is essentially what this story is about. Jennie Bateman was an abused child-her father an undiagnosed bipolar personality. She ultimately got married and had two children--then one day--she left--just walked out. She finally gets help and with the help of medication is living a more normal life. She decides that she wants to see and friend her daughters after all these years. Will she be able to--can her daughters ever forgive her? And what about her ex-husband with his fiance who he is going to marry. Can all of this turn out. There is a surprise ending here which I think you will really like! I highly suggest you read this novel!!
CinnamonHollow More than 1 year ago
Disclosure: I received a complimentary sample, as a member of Beck Valley Books, to facilitate my review. All opinions are strictly my own. WOW! The book, "[[ASIN:B014RUY61C Those Children Are Ours]]", certainly dredges up some emotions! On one hand, we see Jennie turn her life around and become such a great person. Then we see her past and the awful and ugly things she said and did to her husband and children. And they are bad. Then we meet her parents and siblings and learn some more interesting facts from Jennie's past. Her dad? Oh my gosh. Can you say wack-a-doo? You will go on a roller coaster of feelings, wondering just who to root for. After reading the entire novel, in a weekend because it is that good, I can honestly say that I loved it. I feel like all the emotions between the characters were spot on. The girls feelings throughout the court battle. Emma and Thomas' feelings. And even Jennie's back and forth are all exactly what I would imagine a family to feel when going through something like this. I do wish we had been able to get a little bit more of a sneak peek into Jennie's interactions with her brother and sister as children, though. As well as how their parents treated them. I think that would have helped clear some more things up for me, personally. Overall, this was a great read. Only minor language, nothing overly foul. Sexual implications but nothing raunchy. I'd definitely recommend it.