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Diana K. Perkins

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Books by Diana K. Perkins
Singing Her Alive
by Diana K. Perkins   

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Publisher:  Friesen Press ISBN-10:  1770671196


Copyright:  August, 2011 ISBN-13:  9781770671195

Price: $3.82 (eBook)
Download to your Kindle (eBook)
Friesen Press
Diana K. Perkins

A story of taboo love, set in two timelines, about 3 generations of women; one with a shocking secret.

Singing Her Alive is a well intentioned love story set in two time lines and presented to the reader as a fictional memoir. The primary story begins in the late eighteen hundreds about the relationship that evolves between two young women who are thrown together by fate as roommates - in a shared bed - at a boarding house at the textile mill where they have gone to work, far from home and family. Two generations later, in present time their secret story comes to life vis-à-vis their personal journals discovered hidden in the closet by the modern day narrator of the story - granddaughter of one of the two – as she helps her mother pack up their family homestead to sell. The discovery of these family secrets sets the narrator as she connects herself and her mother to these writings, on her own journey towards identity and place. There are strong themes in the story of love and sacrifice, choices and consequences.

The girls continue to shun me. I prefer to write from the library where it is not so obvious that no one will sit near me, but I have been reading in the parlor. Whether at the dining table or in the parlor, all the seats near me are abandonded, and they sit cramped together talking in low voices to each other, the furtive glances not replaced by totally ignoring me, as though I don't even exist.

I have picked up several books at the library and quietly read them to shut out the disapproval of the others. Occasionally a girl will shriek with wild laughter, knowing that my concentration on and immersion in my book will be broken. These girls, once so kind, have turned into nasty little agents of morality. I am beginning to hate some of them, especially the ones so bent on meanness. But I maintain my dignified demeanor throughout, which serves only to bring them to new levels of cruelty.

Professional Reviews
Amazon Review by John H. Manhold
Singing Her Alive, A Fictional Memoir ISBN9781770671188, 1195, 1201, Friesen press by Diana K. Perkins is an unusual story set in the Willimantic River Valley of Connecticut.
The book opens with Sarah coming home from Boston to join her mother, Bea, to bury her Grandmother who has just passed away. As they are cleaning out the old home, Sarah discovers some old diaries kept by her Grandmother and by her Aunt Doris, who had lived with her. Sarah is intrigued by the house, its setting, and subconsciously by the hint of strange happenings she finds in perusing the early pages of the diaries. She begins to think about buying the house from her mother and, actually quite rapidly, decides to do so. A number of factors aid in her decision. 1) She has never been totally committed to her life in Boston. 2) She has a number of acquaintances and a lesbian couple with whom she is close, but no special friend of either gender. 3) She encounters car trouble in her small town, and a local mechanic comes to help. The mechanic is a very friendly, lovely young woman who had left her business position because she found this more enjoyable. 4) An opportunity for employment opens in the local community. 5) Her mother sends around a pleasant young man who is the local Veterinarian.
To provide more specifics of the story is to do a disservice to the reader. Suffice it to say the diaries slowly reveal a most interesting, albeit complex, manner of life fulfillment for the writer, as well as for her Grandfather Peter and his Friend William. The diaries additionally produce the necessary impetus for Sarah's own lagging decisions about many aspects of her life.
This is a book that ordinarily I would not have selected. However, I should recommend it highly. It is a most interesting and unusual tale dealing with unacceptable activity in another era and of its effect upon individuals' behavior in the present day. Reviewed by John H. Manhold, award winning fiction/non-fiction author.

BlogCritics Review by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views
Singing Her Alive begins when the death of the main character's grandmother takes a modern city dwelling woman, named Sarah, back to her roots. When Sarah returns home to help her mother clear out her grandmotherís belongings, she finds herself feeling connected to the old homestead. Her interest is peaked when she discovers the diaries of both her grandmother Rebecca and her lifelong friend ďAuntĒ Doris.
Taking her back in time to the late 1800s, Sarah reads about how Doris and Rebecca met. Sharing a bed in a room in a boarding house while they both worked in a textile mill started their friendship. As their relationship blossomed, they encountered many complications and obstacles from others, who couldnít accept that they were becoming more than just friends. When a crisis forces them to look elsewhere for a fresh start, Sarahís future grandfather helps them with this goal.
As Sarah reads these journals, she finds herself feeling pulled further and further away from her life in Boston. Through her readings, Sarah is able to go back in time and see how life was for these two women. As she sees how they discover each other, she also begins learning more about herself. Her personal life becomes more involved in this little town. Family secrets that are revealed in the diaries also greatly complicate things. Sarah has to figure out how she is to handle what information has been revealed to her, because it will still have a tremendous impact on those she cares about. As she works through this dilemma, she also is growing closer to her mother and has made some special friendships with two local people.
Singing Her Alive has two love stories. One is from the past, and the other is developing in the present. Both involve difficulties, yet the people involved reveal themselves to be incredible characters who are worth fighting for. Written as a fictional memoir, the author made it hard for me to believe that it didnít really happen. Including a great deal of true historical information really helped with this. She peaked my interest so much, I found myself looking through a website that is included as a reference. I highly recommend reading this novel.
Singing Her Alive: A Fictional Memoir
Diana K. Perkins
FriesenPress (2011)
ISBN 9781770671195

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