Cover Image: Secrets on Saulter Road

Secrets on Saulter Road

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Member Reviews

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Joan Kendall has shared a very personal story of the difficulties she faced in her childhood.

The narrative was well paced and engrossing. The final third of the book had a very Christian slant which did not sit comfortably with me. However Joan’s faith helped her come to terms with the sadness she faced as a child and so was an important part of her story.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review. 
I enjoyed reading this book, although it was sad at times. It's well written and I like that she included some pictures.
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Thank you for this ARC. I would actually rate this a 4.5. The things that Joan went through, I truly felt for her. This was an amazing read.
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This was enjoyable and well written as Joan Kendall shares some of her angst of growing up with a mother who drinks too much. It causes much friction it the afternoon when her father comes home from work and sees his wife in that condition again. There is no closeness between Joan and her mother like her two older sisters have. Joan gets her mothering from their downstairs maid, Jadie Bell.  Jadie was a whiz at being a buffer in the family, especially when there was tension between father and mother. She also kept the household running and meals ready when the lady of the house was blitzed on the sofa.

As Joan grew older, she saw her sisters Linda and Susan get out of the house as early as possible, one marrying at 17 and the other escaping when she could too. Later they all started families and they eventually noticed issues that had followed them from back in that childhood. The author manages to work through her own and find a way to forgive. Easily read in an evening, I got really into it and then had to finish it. Glad I read this one. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Joan Kendall, and the publisher.
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Joan Kendall's memoir is a quick, engrossing read. She describes the challenges she faced in her childhood with a mother who hit the sauce regularly. However, with much patience and time, she overcame her own personal demons and has lived a satisfying and productive life. I liked all the photographs that were included.
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Nothing is ever as it seems…

Secrets on Saulter Road is a story of growth, resilience, and hope. With remarkable honesty and wit, author Joan Kendall nimbly explores her upbringing in the prim and proper segregated South during the 1950s with an outrageously unpredictable and destructive alcoholic mother.

Joan and her two sisters—Linda, the perplexing spendthrift, and Susan, the practical optimist—never knew which mother would appear on the scene: the charming Mary Poppins or the spiteful Cruella de Vil. Their loving father did his best, but behind closed doors, his criticism of their mother’s drinking fueled her bizarre and neglectful behaviors and further withdrawal into an ocean of whiskey.

The sisters often had each other’s backs, and the family maid and daytime buffer, Jadie Bell, provided a fortress in their domestic war. Although Jadie Bell loved them as her own, she could not rid their home of gloom and shame.

In Joan’s adulthood, a lamentable family secret is divulged, and the pain and trauma of the past becomes clear. In this beautifully written memoir, Joan reveals her own brokenness, and shares her path to redemption, healing, and joy. 

Review: An interesting memoir by someone who has experienced a lot in life.
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