By Christine Crosby, Editorial Director, GRAND Magazine
Just finished reading Junebug by Cherie Doyen. I literally could not put it down. The book is brilliantly written and by a “first time writer” who tells the story of her life and abuse growing up in rural Missouri with a very ‘dysfunctional’ family. That term is almost a cliche these days, but if you grow up in a home with alcohol abuse, you know the pain and suffering are anything but a cliche.
June was close to and loved her grandmother very much, but could not tell even her beloved Grandma about the abuse she received at the hands of her father, his drinking buddy and uncle. Unfortunately, this happens all too often. The victim feels so much guilt and shame, she can’t tell anyone. According to Cherie Doyen, “Throughout my time working behind the chair as a hair stylist and countless interactions with women, it has become clear how many of us there are; women who carry the shame and guilt of the indiscretions of others. My purpose in telling my story is to provide a springboard for dialogue, women talking…sharing.”
June’s story begins on a tiny farm in a sleepy little railroad town, buried in the depths of rural America. Don’t look too closely at the sagging porches and the chipping paint. Through June’s eyes, it’s a place where nothing is as it seems, a place full of secrets. June lives with people who claim to be her family; she’s not sure. Pieces are missing. Words and actions are out of sync. They cause so much pain and suffering. Can she be related to these people who say they are her family? These people … they make her do things, things that aren’t talked about. Lying back very still, very quiet, June begins to feel the pull of the water, the twisting, the turning, finding herself in a puddle in the center of a meadow filled with wildflowers of all colors. On the path up ahead, she senses movement. Within seconds, a magnificent black panther stands before her. Tigua becomes her guardian and protector and helps her discover the power she has available. The power buried deep inside. Tigua gives her the strength to take back her body, take back her life. In this other world, she discovers the real meaning of family and the responsibility it holds. The Great Seer gives her the perspective of a warrior, equipping her with the wisdom and courage to fight the battle that threatens to consume her life. With the help of her guides, she learns what love is, and armed with that love she throws open the doors to all of their secrets, freeing those who came before and those who come after.
This book is available here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/junebug-cherie-doyen/1115359713?ean=9781452572055