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Blood and Milk: A Novel in Stories by W. D.…

Blood and Milk: A Novel in Stories

by W. D. Blackmon

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Becky Hawkins has a can-do attitude. She is part of a large family, but has sole responsibility for her grandfather who is slowly losing his mind. She also has three children to raise by herself because she is separated from her husband Mike. The middle child, Ruby, is brain damaged and unable to talk, though she can understand what is said to her and seems to be a happy child.

We've all known a Becky, otherwise known as Super Mom. She can change diapers on a 2-year-old and 80-year-old, soothe Ruby after a seizure, and commiserate with oldest daughter Claire on a boyfriend issue -- all while fixing Thanksgiving dinner for her huge family! One of the guests at the celebration was an older gent who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. Blackmon clearly has experience in this area and wrote some very amusing conversations between the two fading patriarchs without being condescending. He also did well at the other end of the spectrum, capturing the personality of 2-year-old Jack and his obsession with bodily functions.

This is the author's debut book. He may be writing more as he has a large collection of completed stories written over the course of his career as a college English professor. He is a local author who met with our book club and graciously told us the background of his characters and answered our questions. Some of the best parts of the book were the photographs introducing each story. His wife Julie is an acclaimed photographer with an international following and several books of her work to her credit. It is always interesting to hear the author talk about his motivation for writing. In this case, the characters were based on his wife's family. It sounds like there are many more stories in his head and in his portfolio. I look forward to reading more by him. ( )
  Donna828 | Dec 7, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0982818424, Paperback)

Blood and Milk: A Novel in Stories creates a memorable modern character in Becky Hawkins, whose struggles to care for her senile grandfather and brain-injured child are told with tenderness and an awareness of the comic incongruities of life. "Blackmon seems to inhabit the wife and mother at the center of these stories right down to her synapses. It's as if he knows not only her every thought but her every inflection, the exact phrases with which she speaks to herself in the privacy of her consciousness. There's not a sentence here without the mark of truth to it." -Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Illumination: A Novel, and The Brief History of the Dead

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:28 -0400)

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