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Edward T. Vaughan

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Member Since: Dec, 2010

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Faded Lives
by Edward T. Vaughan   

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Category: 

Drama

Publisher:  Createspace ISBN-10:  1453804978 Type: 
Pages: 

250

Copyright:  04/26/2011 ISBN-13:  9781453804971
Fiction

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When Mark takes a week long trip to visit his elderly Grandmother Emily, he is confronted by his family's secret past. Emily's father, Frank Vandermeer, is a man trying to escape his past; the mysterious death of his first wife, a witness who speaks from the grave, and a child who vanishes into thin air. When a private investigator shows up, Frank fears his past may have finally caught up to him.

Have you ever wondered if the stories from your family's past were really true? When Mark Stephens takes a week long trip to visit his elderly grandmother, Emily Goodman, he is confronted by the reality of his family's secret past. She reveals how her father Frank's desire to control her life and the lives of her family members made them virtual prisoners.
Emily's father, Frank Vandermeer, is a man trying to escape his past; the mysterious death of his first wife, a witness who speaks from the grave, and a child who vanishes into thin air. When a private investigator, hired by his ex-father-in law, shows up unexpectedly, Frank fears his past may have finally caught up to him. Helen, Frank's second wife, is trapped by her own fears and bound by her religious beliefs concerning marriage. Son Frank Junior, manipulated by his father to become heir to the family business, struggles under the pressure. Levi, the middle child, longs for the freedom to make his own path in life. Daughter Emily struggles to overcome her father's manipulation so she can marry the man she loves. Fate conspires to bring the struggles of Frank and his family to a climactic conclusion.
In the process of sharing her secret, Emily and Mark's bond grows deeper. In turn, she helps him come to an important decision in his own life. The ending will make you think about what matters most in life.

Excerpt
In the spring of the year before his grandfather’s passing, Mark had driven down to spend Easter weekend with his grandparents. The family tradition was to gather together to attend church for Easter Sunday service, followed by a big meal his grandmother had prepared in advance. That Sunday morning Mark stopped by his grandfather's open bedroom door and looked in to observe Grandpa Tim tying his bright yellow necktie in front of the dresser mirror. His grandfather had on a pristine white dress shirt complete with cuffs. Grandpa was always very dapper recalled Mark. Tim noticed movement in the mirror and caught his grandson’s reflection.
He finished his tie, as Mark watched, and then came over to where his grandson stood to give him a hug. Mark kissed him on the cheek.
“Son, I’m glad you are here, it means a lot when you get to be my age to be surrounded by your family. I love you son,” said Tim.
“I love you too Grandpa,” replied Mark.
Mark never forgot that day. Sadness came rushing back as he recalled his grandfather’s passing. Mark's absence at his Grandpa Tim's deathbed weighed heavily on him. He felt guilty for not being there and he felt he had to make it up to him by helping his grandmother.


Professional Reviews

Alex McGilvery - Celticfrogreviews.com
Posted on April 23, 2011 by celticf1

Faded Lives is a novel by Edward T. Vaughan. He tells the story of Mark who visits his grandmother sometime after the passing of his grandfather. Mark is feeling guilty that he didn’t make to his grandfather’s death bed in time to say goodbye, and he is determined that he will have time with his grandmother while she is still healthy.

His grandmother Emily has her own reasons for wanting her only grandson to visit. She wants to tell the true story of her family. Her story is filled with much more drama than Mark had ever dreamt. Yet Emily is like Scheherazade who tells the story of the Arabian Nights. Emily tells the tale in snippets as the house is being tidied

Edward weaves the work of clearing up the house and Mark’s grandfather’s things with the story of his grandmother’s family and its secrets. The relationship between Mark and his grandmother is revealed and deepened as the story develops and he learns things that will change the way he thinks of his family, his grandmother and himself.

The writing of this story is relaxed and welcoming. I found the characters of Mark and his grandmother especially engaging. The story of the past is well conceived and is skillfully woven into the tapestry. One part of the novel I really liked was the food. The meals during the week are almost a character in themselves as we are treated to a breadth of home cooking that is sadly all too rare these days.

I found reading Faded Lives very satisfying. As in most good stories there is a lesson to be learned, but Edward doesn’t try to hammer the point home. I finished the book with a smile on my face. I have no difficulty recommending this book.




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