Treez McDuffy is a single woman who’s recently retired from a forty-year-long-lifeless job. She’s now faced with facing herself. The wounds from her childhood re-open, having never really healed. They’re responsible for her unwillingness and inability to have formed any type of meaningful relationship. She is alone without any sense of purpose or belonging and consoles herself with endless cigarettes, liter-boxes of Merlot and micro-waved frozen dinners.
Something happens that ignites a transformation. One morning she hears the sound of Canada geese flying over her apartment on their way home. They’re calling her to join them. She rushes out onto her balcony and is overwhelmed by the momentous display of this huge flock of geese flying overhead. It stirs something inside her which has lain dormant for years – hope to change her life. But to change, she has to change everything.
She terminates the lease on her the rent-controlled apartment she’s had for thirty years, cashes in her retirement savings, buys a new car, adopts a dog, aptly named, Guido, from the local pound and sets out to travel the Trans Canada Highway on a tentatively planned journey to the Badlands of South Dakota.
On day of her departure, she suffers an extreme anxiety attack after travelling only a few blocks from her old apartment. Somehow the realization of what she’s done has remained safe in her imagination but now it’s reality. She fears she’s made a very reckless and foolish decision but it’s too late to turn back.
What starts off as a trip to the Badlands veers dramatically off course as she encounters people and events, both natural and supernatural that steer her in a whole new direction.She is challenged in ways she has never experienced before. She is on an odyssey of rebirth and self-discovery.
Add it on GOODREADS now!
The Halleluiah Baby by Kathleen Martin
I’m not sure how to approach this review, so please pardon me if I get to rambling. By no means was this a bad, or even ‘just average’ book. It is well-written, and without a doubt takes the reader on quite the ride.
Told from the main character’s point of view, Treez, The Halleluiah Baby opens while she wistfully observes a flock of migrating geese — and she decides to follow their lead. What comes after is Treez’s story; from her selling off everything and eliminating all physical ties so that she can set out on a journey to the Bad Lands of South Dakota, to a recap of her entire life up to this moment of life-changing decision. The only thing she keeps are her car and her dog Guido.
We learn of her troubled childhood, where her self-image was squashed by her environment. We meet that special teacher who turns it all around with the simple words of “You are special.” Up, down, good and bad, we get little snippets of Treez’s life while she travels a lonely stretch of highway. Along the way we meet a plethora of interesting characters; all of them affecting Treez’s outlook and decisions in some way or another.
Hysterical pregnancies to bedside deaths, The Halleluiah Baby took me, in my opinion, on a bird’s-eye-view trip into the depths of depression and mental uncertainty. The fact that Martin was able to ensnare me so deeply in a pit of wallow and grief is a testament to her ability.
In closing, I want to add that this would translate into a movie brilliantly. I can even see some of the heaviness of it being lifted with a bit of good comedic timing with facial expressions and delivery of lines. So, while the story itself was not for me on a personal level, I can’t discredit the author’s talent. If you like obscure, thought-invoking reads, this could be right up your alley!
Author Bio and Links:Kathleen Martin is a Gemini-nominated writer for film, novelist and playwright. Her first book “Penny Maybe” was published in Canada and in Germany. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and a little herd of little dogs.
11/26: FS Meurinne Book Enticer –Promo/Excerpt
11/27: Elizabeth M. Lawrence – Guest Post
11/28: Lisa Matley -- Review
11/29: Jennifer Garcia – Promo/Excerpt
11/30: N. Wood -- Interview
12/01: K.L. Platt – Promo/Excert
12/02: Lorenz Font – Guest Post
12/03: Sarah Says Read Romance – Promo/Excerpt
12/04: Wyndy Dee – Promo/Excerpt
12/05: S.A. Jones – Review
12/06: Jude Ouvrard – Promo/Excerpt
12/07: Mich’s Book Reviews -- Review
12/08: Matt Lutz – Review
12/09: R.E. Hargrave -- Review