Small Pleasures: Mya's Story
Paperback, 310 Pages
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Flat chested and agile as monkeys, the pretty little Sheppard sisters hunt exotic insects as decorations for their mud pies and childhood games. Yet, by the age of ten, Mya Sheppard’s body has outgrown her innocent mind. Deeply troubled by its unwanted attention, Mya climbs trees hoping to remain within the protected cradle of childhood. But the violence that chased the Sheppard girls to California finds them and forces them and their Mother back to Georgia and into the home of Donovan Sheppard’s religious parents. Struggling against bouts of anxiety brought on by salty California, Mya finds herself in a whirl of trouble one afternoon when she’s left in the care of a grandfather who finds her tempting. Despite the domestic issues plaguing the family, this assault seizes Mya’s ability to defend her body against others, and her own hands. Brutally honest and graphically told, Mya introduces the reader to the life of a family fighting for love and normalcy, and... More > struggling to remain together.< Less
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Jan 28, 2012An interesting title for this book but then the pleasures are very small. Small Pleasures is told from the voice of Mya Sheppard and it begins in Grandlita's garden (there are many gardens in this story - Mrs. Darcy has a garden and when Chestnut grows up, she has a garden too). I suspect the gardens represent a religion, or something spiritual. There is literary merit to it but I am not certain. I rather liked the gardens and the women who tended them. The story is also told from the point of view of an observer, the author, which shows up in italics. Mya's Story takes you for a rocky ride, divulging the sordid details of her life and the life of her family members, showing the reader what survival is like for her as a child and then as an adult. It is wonderfully sad, and surprisingly violent but sometimes small pleasures occur. The story also makes you wonder what goes on behind the closed doors of those neighbors who appear so perfect on the outside; this becomes evident when the... More > family secrets spill out into the streets and their neighbors are shocked, and unbelieving. My favorite characters are the twins, Chestnut and Rachel, and Mrs. Darcy. I wish there would have been other scenes to include Mrs. Darcy. She and her garden were enchanting and intriguing to the story. The sex scenes are well written but a torture, particularly the rape. These scenes are necessary elements to the tale, without them, the reader will not understand Mya's love and hatred of self (she is a cutter). The story is quite explicit in leading you to the conclusion as to how Mya's duel with self love and hate began. The ending requires thought but I suspect, or at least hope, there is a second part to Mya's story.< Less
Dec 18, 2011Poetic and dramatic, Small Pleasures Mya's Story, begins by introducing the reader to a happy, smart ten year old who, with her sisters, hunt insects and climb fig trees with "haughty leaves." The story goes deep into the isms that plague dysfunctional families, alcoholism, domestic abuse as well as sexual. Rather than simply telling the reader what happens to little girls who witness and experience such atrocities, it shows the reader, step by step all the way into adulthood what becomes of them. In particular, it describes in intimate and explicit details what becomes of Mya and her struggle to find love and to ultimately love herself.
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- Darnishia Bolden (Standard Copyright License)
- Second Edition
- January 7, 2012
- Perfect-bound Paperback
- Interior Ink
- Black & white
- 1.16 lbs.
- Dimensions (inches)
- 6 wide x 9 tall
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- sexuality ,
- religion ,
- spirituality ,
- coming of age ,
- slice of life ,
- Women's fiction ,
- Southern Literature ,
- literature ,
- domestic abuse ,
- cutting ,
- self abuse
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