Book Extract: No Fourth River by Christine Clayfield

Today I am pleased to share an extract from Christine Clayfield’s ‘No Fourth River‘ as part the blog tour hosted by Bookollective.


The Book

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No Fourth River
By Christine Clayfield
Publisher: RASC Publishing
ISBN: 9781999840914
Pages: 217
Genre: Non-fiction/Memoir

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Electroshock therapy, child abuse and modern-day slavery… just another day in Christine’s life.

Take a heart-wrenching yet inspiring ride through one woman’s incredible journey that is so compelling that you are simultaneously trying to look away and unable to stop yourself from reading on.

Christine’s father is a wealthy, tyrannical man renowned in the diamond business. At the age of just five, little Christine is cast aside into a boarding school where she is ridiculed for two embarrassing problems. She grows up in a never-ending circle of traumatic experiences both in her boarding school and at home. It culminates into a falling out between father and child that was never fully mended, leading her into a world of promiscuity and alcohol, eventually landing her in a violent marriage.

Driven to the limits of despair and heartache, she creates a plan to escape her world of misery. Will her plan work?

A story that asks: How do you find the strength, when you suffer almost unbearable abuse and are broken beyond repair, to pick up the pieces of a shattered life?

Purchase a copy: Amazon.com Amazon.UK


Extract: Growing Up, Down

We were all survivors, programmed from the very start of life to tiptoe around the pillar of fury that was my father. He was the kind of man who would strip his children of all self-esteem, then blame us when we could not perform. He delighted in mental harassment and physical beatings.

He was a chain-smoking, whisky-swilling king of the diamond trade. A tyrant to his children.

My brothers and I learned all about the dark, solitary places of our house—either to hide in or as a forced punishment. At five, I remember hearing noises from behind the cellar door one morning, so I investigated, only to find my brother Oliver huddled in the corner on the cold stone floor, throwing rocks at the wall. My father had sent him there the night before, without supper.

“Oliver, you okay?” I screeched, taking note of his wide, round eyes. They were full of fear and something else…shame.

It was dirty in the cellar and the stone was so cold that the air coming up from the bottom felt like a wave of freezing mist. He was trapped down there, alone in a frozen ocean of stone, framed by the light coming from my open door.

“Shh, dad might hear,” he called up to me.

“He’s not home.” I sniffled at the weakness and helplessness of my words. I wanted to help him but I couldn’t. It was against the rules.

“What happened?” At least I could give him some company.

“I’m not allowed to grow my hair. Dad told me to cut it, and I told him I wanted to keep it long.” A slight hint of anger lined his voice.

I would not understand that feeling until I was much older.

“Oh. You look cold.”

“I am cold.”

“Should I bring you a blanket?” I noticed there wasn’t so much as a towel on the floor where he sat.

“Better not. I’ll be fine. You go upstairs and play.” He turned his face into the darkness of the cellar. I obeyed and gently shut the door on my brother and walked to the lounge, where my other brothers were. Oliver was not allowed out of the cellar for four days over a long weekend.

Mum brought him a plate of food, once a day. There was no washroom, and he would do his nature calls in a plastic pot with a lid on that mum had to clean every day.


About the Author

christine

Born in 1959, the successful UK business woman and author Christine Clayfield has achieved recognition as a Bestselling Author for one of her Internet marketing books. She has written 6 books: 1 novel (her own life story) and 5 business books.

Christine is an author, wife, mother and business woman.

You can connect with Christine:
Twitter Facebook Linkedin Instagram

Christine’s past holds much pain and abuse, but it did not stop her from being the woman she is today by changing her life and building the future she wanted. She wants to empower and inspire the world with the release of “No Fourth River”, a novel, based on a true story: her own life.

Life was certainly no easy ride for her. To say she had a hard life as a child and a young adult, is an understatement. ‘No Fourth River’, is her way to let the world know that despite the pain of your past, YOU have the ability to change your future. YOU can make it happen if you just believe. It all starts with YOU.

Christine loves writing books and helping others to achieve business success! She has helped countless people to get to grips with making money online and publishing books.

For more information:
www.christineclayfield.com
www.NoFourthRiver.com


I want to extend a special thank you to Aimee with Bookollective and the author for allowing me to particpate and providing the extract today!

Happy Reading,
Danielle ❤

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We Are Nearly Halfway Through 2018, So What Are My Top Reads So Far?

With June just around the corner, now felt like an ideal time to look back at some of my top reads of 2018 to date. This is an all inclusive list, so not all titles were necessarily published this year. Today, I have rounded up the 12 best books I have picked up since January 2018. It was not an easy list to compose!

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Contemporary/Historical Fiction

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A Land of Permanent Goodbyes

By Atia Abawi

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In a country ripped apart by war, Tareq lives with his big and loving family . . . until the bombs strike. His city is in ruins. His life is destroyed. And those who have survived are left to figure out their uncertain future.

In the wake of destruction, he’s threatened by Daesh fighters and witnesses a public beheading. Tareq’s family knows that to continue to stay alive, …more

Read my full review and guest post from the author here.

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Alias Grace

Margaret Atwood

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In Alias Grace, bestselling author Margaret Atwood has written her most captivating, disturbing, and ultimately satisfying work since The Handmaid’s Tale. She takes us back in time and into the life of one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of the nineteenth century.

Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer, Thomas Kin …more

Read my thoughts here.

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Moonrise

By Sarah Crossan

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‘They think I hurt someone.
But I didn’t. You hear?
Coz people are gonna be telling you
all kinds of lies.
I need you to know the truth.’

From one-time winner and two-time Carnegie Medal shortlisted author Sarah Crossan, this poignant, stirring, huge-hearted novel asks big questions. What value do you place on life? What can you forgive? And just how do you say goodbye?

Check out my review.


Feminism/Fiction

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Red Clocks

By Leni Zumas

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Five women. One question. What is a woman for?

In this ferociously imaginative novel, abortion is once again illegal in America, in-vitro fertilization is banned, and the Personhood Amendment grants rights of life, liberty, and property to every embryo. In a small Oregon fishing town, five very different women navigate these new barriers alongside age-old questions surround …more

My reasons that this is a must read can be found here.

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The Nowhere Girls

By Amy Read

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Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story.

Who are the Nowhere Girls?

They’re everygirl. But they start with just three:

Grace Salter is the new girl in town, whose family was run out of t …more

Read more about why I highly recommend this book.


Nonfiction/Memoir

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Brain on Fire

By Susannah Cahalan

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An award-winning memoir and instant New York Timesbestseller that goes far beyond its riveting medical mystery, Brain on Fire is the powerful account of one woman’s struggle to recapture her identity.

When twenty-four-year-old Susannah Cahalan woke up alone in a hospital room, strapped to her bed and unable to move or speak, she had no memory of how she’d gotten there. Day…more

You can find my thoughts on Goodreads.


Science Fiction

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Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #2)

By Neal Shusterman

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Rowan and Citra take opposite stances on the morality of the Scythedom, putting them at odds, in the second novel of the chilling New York Times bestselling series from Neal Shusterman, author of the Unwind dystology.

Rowan has gone rogue, and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. Literally. In the year since Winter Conclave, he has gone of …more

My buddy read experience can be read here.

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Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad #1)

By Scott Reintgen

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With millions of dollars at stake, walking away isn’t an option.

Emmett Atwater agrees to leave Earth behind when Babel Communications offers him a fortune. The catch? He has to launch into deep space to get it. One of ten selected recruits, Emmett boards the company’s spaceship and sets course for a planet that Babel has kept hidden from the rest of the world.

Before long, …more

Check out my final thoughts.

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LIFel1K3 (LIFEL1K3 #1)

By Jay Kristoff

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On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap.

Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it …more

Read more about why I could not put this down.


Fantasy

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The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

By Patricia A McKillip

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Young Sybel, the heiress of powerful wizards, needs the company of no-one outside her gates. In her exquisite stone mansion, she is attended by exotic, magical beasts: Riddle-master Cyrin the boar; the treasure-starved dragon Gyld; Gules the Lyon, tawny master of the Southern Deserts; Ter, the fiercely vengeful falcon; Moriah, feline Lady o…more

Check out my impressions of this fantasy classic.

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Children of Blood and Bone

By Tomi Adeyemi

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Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring…more

Learn more about why this was a huge win for me.

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The Queen of Sorrow (The Queens of Renthia #3)

By Sarah Beth Durst

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The battle between vicious spirits and strong-willed queens that started in the award-winning The Queen of Blood and continued in the powerful The Reluctant Queen comes to a stunning conclusion in The Queen of Sorrow, the final volume of Sarah Beth Durst’s Queens of Renthia trilogy.

Queen Daleina has yearned to bring peace and prosperity to her beloved forest home—a hope th…more

Read my thoughts on a favorite series.


So far 2018 has been a highly successful year for reading. What have been some of your favorite titles so far? Have you read any of the above or do you plan to?

Happy Reading,
Danielle ❤

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Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

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Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
By: JD Vance (Author/Narrator)
Publisher: HarperAudio
ISBN13: 9780062477521
Unabridged 6 hr and 49 min
Genre: Autobiography/Memoir

Synopsis:

From a former Marine and Yale Law School Graduate, a poignant account of growing up in a poor Appalachian town, that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class. Part memoir, part historical and social analysis, J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy is a fascinating consideration of class, culture, and the American dream.

Vance’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love.” They got married and moved north from Kentucky to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. Their grandchild (the author) graduated from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving upward mobility for their family. But Vance cautions that is only the short version. The slightly longer version is that his grandparents, aunt, uncle, and mother struggled to varying degrees with the demands of their new middle class life and they, and Vance himself, still carry around the demons of their chaotic family history.

Delving into his own personal story and drawing on a wide array of sociological studies, Vance takes us deep into working class life in the Appalachian region. This demographic of our country has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, and Vance provides a searching and clear-eyed attempt to understand when and how “hillbillies” lost faith in any hope of upward mobility, and in opportunities to come.

At times funny, disturbing, and deeply moving, this is a family history that is also a troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large portion of this country.


(New) Thoughts

As someone who spent her childhood raised in the Appalachian region, I approached Hillbilly Elegy as a personal read. The majority of my life was spent living between Ohio and Kentucky before finally relocating across the states to Oregon. I knew that I would find some possibly comforting and perhaps discomforting familiarity within the pages of this memoir. However, what you are about to read is brief and a bit defensive I am admitting, because that is how this title made me feel for the majority of my time with it.

I want to be forthcoming before I delve too far into my experience with this book. I have reshelved this title several times for a variety of reasons. I have read countless reviews and debates comparing this memoir to the very reason Trump succeeded in the presidential election and have encountered multiple labels and “assumptions” spread throughout those comments in regards to individuals from the Appalachian region that paint a picture of an uneducated and decaying society that has little to offer. And while, I cannot deny there are faults within every community and that the economic hardships within this society have certainly created a series of challenges that feel stagnating at the best of times, reading these remarks are difficult to swallow when you know the reality of what lies beneath the surface.

I have also must admit that I found myself associating with and struggling with JD’s story. While my family did not exactly adhere to the same ideals and practices, I was a friend to many who did. I grew up in an area that was small and everyone knew everyone. This was life for many years. A declining economy and failing welfare system certainly attributed to fewer resources in terms of education, declining work ethic/morale and increased drug abuse in many areas. I think the same can be said for any  area or society as this is a common theme when individuals begin to struggle. But it is not the only theme. Amidst the turmoil and challenges there are those who arise with a fierce loyalty and desire to overcome. Much as JD has done. I did enjoy his narration and felt that it added a nice personal touch. All memoirs should be self narrated when possible. And I feel that some personal truth for the author was exposed, which is always admirable.

My problem lies within the fact that Hillbilly Elegy feels too blanketed. Listening to JD describe his history of family violence and the constant references to the lack of education and failure to thrive was not only depressing but somewhat unfair. I cannot deny the truths in this book as I have witnessed them first hand, but I have also been fortunate enough to personally witness the other side of the coin and found myself unable to fully appreciate the “tunnel vision” I experienced during my time listening the his tale. I will not attempt to discredit and disagree with the information provided and will respect the author’s raw approach to this. I encountered some of the mentioned directly throughout my own childhood. But I was saddened with the end result and that read a bit like misplaced blame and solicited unnecessary labels and assumptions within the reading community. I am very aware of the stigma associated with this region as I have experienced it and continue to do so at time when asked where I grew up. This felt like a missed opportunity to lift the veil and clear some of the negative air. It feels that too often literature chooses to focus on the stereotypes and downfalls of this culture while failing to acknowledge the strengths and positives. I choose to believe there have to be better explorations and representations of the Appalachian region in existence.

Untitled designEnjoyed with a cup of Earl Grey and a splash of milk.

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Purchase Links:  Amazon.com Book Depository


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