Quick Update-Kirkus Review of Life of Rileigh
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Quick Update-Kirkus Review of Life of Rileigh

Quick Update-Kirkus Review of Life of Rileigh.

I have been anxiously been awaiting the professional review from Kirkus of my young adult novel Life or Rileigh. The past few weeks have not allowed for any updates so I am posting this quick one just to share something fun. You can see the whole review by clicking on the link below. I am pleased with the results. The book was on my mind now for a number of years but I finally completed the story the way I had wanted and published at the beginning of the year. Now it is available in eBook, paperback and even hardback. Whichever is your reading preference. Take a few minutes and read through the review and even Like, Share, and Comment!

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/ll-eadie/life-of-rileigh/

The Review

A coming-of-age novel focuses on a girl born in 1954 who spends her childhood and teenage years in and out of a small-town orphanage.

Rileigh Ophelia Horton, the charming narrator of this disturbing tale, is 6 years old when her unwed mother, Ophelia, suffers from an economic and emotional downward spiral. Ophelia places her daughter in The Margaret Lloyd Stansel’s Children’s Asylum of Abbottville, Georgia. Rileigh soon discovers that most of the kids in the orphanage, who supposedly have no one to care for them, do in fact have one or two living parents or at least an extended family. Despite the condemnation of society and her family, Ophelia had tried to raise the little girl on her own for six years.

Sadly, Ophelia’s dependency on alcohol and her proclivity for poor choices in male companions finally took their toll. It is a terrifying first night for Rileigh, who thought her mamma was just taking her on a road trip. But she quickly bonds with four other 6-year-olds— Kirbie Jo Givens, Marla Norris, Loretta Thomas, and Marydale Brown. The five kids form a tight friendship, a sisterhood that lasts well after they have all aged out of the system. The novel is a collection of poignant, sometimes heartbreaking episodes that recall the hopes, bitter disappointments, and triumphs of the next 12 years of Rileigh’s life.

Her mother’s visits are painfully rare. Several times, Ophelia brings her back home—until things fall apart again and Rileigh must return to the institution that she calls her “other home.” It is a sad story that contains a surprising buoyancy in spirit. These girls remain resilient in the face of mistreatment, even abuse. Eadie peppers her prose with the vernacular of the time and place, and Rileigh is always ready with a sarcastic, amusing description. Referring to the children in her elementary school who did not come from the orphanage, she says: “We had no more chance to be their friends than a cat in hell with gasoline drawers on.” But the author’s overuse of Rileigh’s standard transitional term ‘anywho’ becomes irritating.

An engaging orphanage tale with enough optimism to counterbalance the narrative’s distressing core.
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