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Sleep Before Evening by Magdalena Ball
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Sleep Before Evening

by Magdalena Ball

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This review was written by the author.
Okay, this is my book, so I'm not going to review it! Aside from the fact that I'm completely biased, it wouldn't be good form. But let me say that if you do buy a copy, I'll gladly send you a personally autographed bookplate, along with a welter of other gifts to thank you. And if you review it, I'll send even more gifts (and reciprocate for you one day), even if the review isn't positive. Others have said the following:"The dialogue is solid and believable, and the characters live and breathe and scratch themselves. The drug scenes and the horrors of dependence are especially well-rendered." CHAD HAUTMANN, author of Billie's Ghost "There is so much beautiful writing here, soaring passages." RUHAMA VELTFORT, author of The Promised Land "Sleep Before Evening is music. Magdalena Ball weaves the sounds of poetry with an important story, compassionately 'sung.' CAROLYN HOWARD-JOHNSON, author of This is the Place, and Tracings "The writing is exquisite, without ever calling attention to itself, which is a real feat. It is a pleasure to read. The pitch is perfect, and the characters are so beautifully developed and very intriguing. JOAN SCHWEIGHARDT, author of Virtual Silence, Island, Homebodies and Gudrun's Tapestry Thanks for indulging me! Maggie ( )
  maggieball | Jun 22, 2008 |
Life isn’t perfect, but seventeen-year-old Marianne Cotton is blessed with a loving and devoted grandfather who carefully schools her in piano, the arts, and literature. An “A” student, Marianne basks in his attention while eclipsing memories of her deadbeat dad. Lily Cotton, Marianne’s self-involved, bipolar mother, loves her daughter within her own limitations. The needy artist frequently requires tending when moods swing, forcing Marianne to table her own needs and emotions to care for her. A series of men has invaded their lives, providing a less than perfect environment for the young woman.

The brilliant young woman manages to survive until her senior year in high school, when just before finals, Eric Cotton collapses into a vegetative state. Although Marianne is convinced her grandfather is still alive inside, the decision to pull the plug is made by Lily and her current husband, Russell. Marianne interprets this act as a deep betrayal, and reels in shock when she’s notified that her grandfather has been removed from life support.

Faced with spiritual solitude, Marianne starts to unravel. She falls for a handsome and charismatic street musician named Miles, who lures her into a world of sex, drugs, and smoky club blues. Marianne’s pain is diminished with each fix she accepts from her new group of exotic and seemingly attractive friends. Armed with a fake ID, school recedes and the scholarship for NYU seems unimportant. Marianne lands a job at a sleazy bar, serving drinks to overweight groping men and pushing through the motions with more mental lethargy as her craving for absolution and oblivion careens forward, driving her to a nearly lethal intravenous heroin addiction.

Magdalena Ball’s writing, insightful and deep, engages the reader from page one. Her characters linger long after the story resolves to its perfect conclusion. Highly recommended for a glimpse into the motivations behind heroin abuse, as well as thoroughly alluring family drama, Sleep Before Evening is powerfully addictive in its own right. ( )
1 vote aplazar | Apr 7, 2008 |
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