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marlayna glynn brown

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Overlay - A Tale of One Girl's Life in 1970s Las Vegas
by marlayna glynn brown   

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Category: 

Memoir

ISBN-10:  1475200358 Type: 
Pages: 

330

ISBN-13:  9781475200355
Non-Fiction

     

Fans of The Glass Castle, The Liar's Club and Angela's Ashes will appreciate this award-winning true tale of survival and resilience recorded in spare and convincing prose. This memoir describes the author's turbulent 1970s Las Vegas childhood in a haunting voice of youthful perception.

Born into an ongoing cycle of alcoholism and abandonment amidst fallen adults, Marlayna develops a powerful sense of self-preservation in contrast to the people entrusted with her care. Her profound story explores the characters and events populating her life as she moves from home to home, parent to parent, family to family, ultimately becoming homeless at the age of fourteen.

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Marlayna Glynn Brown

*2013 Winner of a Next Generation Indie Book Award*

*#1 on Amazon's Highest Rated Memoirs of Authors*

Fans of The Glass Castle, The Liar's Club and Angela's Ashes will appreciate this award-winning true tale of survival and resilience recorded in spare and convincing prose. This memoir describes the author's turbulent 1970s Las Vegas childhood in a haunting voice of youthful perception.

Born into an ongoing cycle of alcoholism and abandonment amidst fallen adults, Marlayna develops a powerful sense of self-preservation in contrast to the people entrusted with her care. Her profound story explores the characters and events populating her life as she moves from home to home, parent to parent, family to family, ultimately becoming homeless at the age of fourteen.

Out of the resources of her remarkable childhood emerges an inner strength that will charm and captivate readers and remain in their consciousness long after the last page of her story has been turned.

"The language of gambling makes an interesting and recurrent motif throughout this memoir, asserting that it is only by chance that any one of us could have traveled this very same road. Decks are shuffled, hands are played. An ultimately uplifting, beautifully written, and inspiring memoir." - Fiona Edmonds




Professional Reviews

The Vault of Books
There is one thing I should clarify. This is an autobiography of sorts; so for all intents and purposes, it shall be treated as one. Everything’s real – there is no plot, no imaginary characters and most importantly, no lofty ambitions. The novel, from the very onset, keeps everything so real that the strands of reality are almost palpable.
There are two things of importance in the cover page – first, the subtitle “A tale of one girl’s life in 1970s Las Vegas” and second, the title “Overlay”. As far as the subtitle is concerned, there is only one term which almost screams of its presence – Las Vegas, the glittery town which never sleeps. Anything associated with Las Vegas generates the perception of a shining world of glitz and glamour, but the key thing that passes unnoticed is 1970s, an era when Las Vegas was reeling under the clutches of Mafiosos and ganglords. So, just like 1970s Las Vegas, the story is of a girl who is trapped in the clutches of her own destiny’s demonic attritions.
Coming to the title, Overlay is a good bet where the bettor has a distinctive edge over the casino. There is a reason why this title is probably the best title there could have been for this novel. Whenever any bettor comes to a casino to gamble, no matter what the game is, it is always the dealer who has an upper hand. But in case of an overlay, it is the bettor who gains an upper hand – be it due to a long winning streak or a short burst of good fortune or simply the nature of the game he is playing. In case of Marlayna Glynn Brown, Overlay implies that she, the bettor in this casino which is the world, has a distinctive edge over the dealer, life. This edge may very well be coming from her never-say-die attitude, her perseverance, her early-in-life experiences or something else which words can’t describe.
There are a few human feelings that have been touched upon exceptionally well in a few instances.
1. JOY – “…“So this is what it’s like to be normal!” I say aloud to myself continually as I run around laughing with normal girls from all over Nevada and California…”
2. HOPE – “… Is there really a chance I could live in the paradise that is my aunt and uncle’s world? My head reels and I…”
3. PERSEVERANCE – “…Just know that I am still in the pot…”
It is these small instances that prevent the story from becoming morose and another sob saga.
At the beginning of every chapter, there is a gambling term which is defined and at the end, it is used to summarise the whole chapter succinctly. This, as it turns out, is the USP of the novel. This is the one thing that has been used to perfection and lends an extra dimension to the writing. The same goes with the parallels drawn between various facets of the author’s life and that of the process of gambling.
If you are looking for a typical cheer-you-up novel, this is not the book for you. If you are looking for a self-help case study, this is not the book for you. If you are looking for a motivational book, it will kind of motivate you in its own way. This is not a feel good book; it will definitely not show you the brighter side of life. But, if you are looking for a gutsy tale of facing all the odds and overpowering them, you have the right book in your hand. Marlayna Glynn Brown has given us a good take on life through gambling, to which, in the words of Nick Dandalos, we can only say –
“”The house doesn’t beat the player. It just gives him the opportunity to beat himself.”
Kudos to the author, and kudos to the gamble we all know as life.


Literary R & R
Overlay is a hauntingly sad look at what transpires in the wake of alcoholic parents. Written in the voice of Marlayna, as she grows up in the shadow of alcoholism, poverty, and abject loneliness, this memoir is simply admirable. To have lived it is shocking enough, but to find a voice and speak out, is phenomenal. Marlayna has a survivor's spirit, and writes effortlessly, while portraying a life many of us could never imagine.


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