I have slowed down on my reading this year; mostly due to my activities in my local quilt guild. The Salisbury Rowan Quilt Guild is involved in several outreach programs. One is ‘Cuddle Quilts’ for the local safe house for women and children. The second is a project we are working on for a group of children in the poorest county of Kentucky. Our goal this year is to make pillowcases for all the children in elementary and middle school, and they will be packed with goodies collected by church organizers. Groups like these are vital too many in America, and SRQG attempts to touch a small percentage of the needy.

So when I read Sonya Yoerg’s book, True Places, like many, we are aware that there are similar stories everywhere of those in need.

True Places by Sonya Yoerg

Iris heard a shot. There would be meat for dinner. Iris and her mother, Mary lived in the Smoky Mountains. Iris’s father, Jim had been gone for six years now; and her brother Ash, with him. It was only Iris and Mary forging in the woods each day to live. Before Jim and Ash left, Mary taught her children how to identify plants, use the water from the stream, listen to the sounds of the forest, and identify smells like snakes. There was no other way to survive. Beyond the mountains were people, automobiles, industry, noise, and sickness. Mary was determined her children would not be exposed to this world.

In this other world, lived a family who had everything; money, community standing, education, and opportunities. Suzanne and Whit have two teenage children, Reid and Brynn. Suzanne is from money, and her parents doted on their grandchildren, mostly without consent. While Whit works long hours in real estate, the Booster club, charity work and the constant demands of her children keep Suzanne on the go. It is the children that exhaust her most. Reid’s conversion to Buddhism and Brynn’s perpetual fractious attitude send Suzanne into a whirlwind of emotions of guilt and unacceptance.

One day, Suzanne, already late for many appointments just drives away. As she drives, time slips away, and before she knows it, she has traveled along the Blue Ridge Parkway, miles away from her Charlottesville home. Drained from the drive, she pulls over. There on a picnic table, Suzanne discovers Iris in poor health, curled up sleeping. Her mother instinct kicks in, and Suzanne transports the unconscious girl to the hospital.

Two worlds will collapse when Iris comes to live with this city family before they are rebuilt through the experience.  Trust, acceptance, approval, and confidence will all take hold before two families can defeat their demons and walk together.

This is a work of fiction, but there are so many in need. Sonya Yoerg has written a compelling book on taking chances, leaving fear, and healing with trust in others. What part are you doing in your community to assist others?

Each time I read a book these days, I am amazed at the author’s ability to create such potent works. Enjoy Reading!  #tallpoppywriters


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