Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Song for Julia by Charles Sheehan-Miles

A Song for Julia. Charles Sheehan-Miles. Cincinnatus Press. December 2012.  320 pages hbk, pbk and ebook. ISBN#: 9780988273658.

Julia is a Harvard student who lives with a memory that almost destroyed her family and probably ended her father’s career as a foreign service diplomat.  The memories are always there but she tries to live a better life free of tangled relationships because the last one resulted in a broken heart and an aborted baby.  But now Julia meets a punk rock singer, Crank Wilson is a heart-breaker with the ladies but on meeting Julia that slowly changes, more so because Julia is constantly stating she will not see him again.

So what will happen when he meets her family.  For Crank and his father, a Boston cop, and his brother, who has Asperger’s Syndrome – a form of autism, are always at odds.  They try to keep out of fights because these upset his brother who gets out of control when upset.  Crank demonstrates tremendous anger when his mother is even mentioned.  Not a happy family, to say the least!

Julia’s mother is constantly harassing her to behave “properly,” always dropping comments on how much she owes the family because of her past shame. She is a nag, in plain English, and was never present for Julia when she needed her mother the most.  Yes, she made a terrible mistake that affected everyone, but surely there must come a time when the past does not haunt the present and everyone accepts responsibility for what could have been avoided, perhaps.

A Song for Julia is a fine story about the past can distort the present and future so that the main characters are so busy protecting their emotionally wracked persons that they almost lose the joy that could move them forward into a caring, whole relationship.  Secrets are meant to be exposed and the pain of revelation with its multiple causes and effects is worth the cost of speaking truth.  Charles Sheehan-Miles brooks no hypocrisy, excuses, etc. as reasons not to be true to one’s higher nature.  In A Song for Julia, this author crafts a fictional song that is as radical as punk and as an incisive as a healing scalpel to the worst and best in human nature.

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