Out of extraordinary suffering, a Canadian man discovers spiritual redemption in this memoir.
Corcoran (The Bishop or the King, 2013, etc.) was one of 13 children largely raised in Sydney, Nova Scotia. He writes that his mother regularly beat him savagely and forbade him to play at school. He also says that he was denied not only affection, but also basics such as food and didn’t even know his own birthday. His siblings, he notes, were ostentatiously favored by his mother, and he often suffered at their hands. For years, he was also victimized by a sexual predator. When it came time for him to start a life of his own, he discovered that he was wholly unprepared for independence. He decided to join the Canadian military and spent three years in Germany until he was reassigned to a base in Ottawa, Ontario. There, he married a young woman who later cheated on him with one of his best friends, he says. Gripped by despair, he contemplated suicide; instead, he rediscovered his Christian faith and began attending services, finding comfort and strength. However, he asserts that a charismatic church leader manipulated him into marrying a woman who was addled by severe psychological problems. After 14 years, he left the marriage, pursued a career in Christian ministry, sought help in therapy, and married a woman he truly loved. Overall, Corcoran writes with great clarity and emotional candor and unflinchingly shares a life that was marred by trauma. However, his memoir is not a woeful lament but a celebration of redemption, composed thoughtfully and showing a profound sense of gratitude. The author’s viewpoint is decidedly religious, but he never proselytizes, and as a result, this book should appeal even to those readers who don’t share his deep religious commitments. In the end, it is remarkable that such an affecting account of childhood abuse could manage to be just as inspiring as it is shocking.
A touching, meditative account of pain and spiritual transcendence.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)