Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wednesday Meme's & My Mother Killed Christ Review

ENTER SUMMER GIVEAWAY HERE


'Waiting On' Wednesday' is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from http://breakingthespine.blogspot.com that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I am waiting on Ghoul's Night Out by Rose Pressey. Which unfortunately does not have a cover yet. So I cannot show you.

I am also eagerly awaiting
Dead Silent  Just Tacos: 100 Delicious Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Joanne Fluke’s Lake Eden Cookbook: Hannah Swensen’s Recipes from The Cookie Jar Ashfall (Ashfall, #1) Drink Deep (Chicagoland Vampires, #5)  Out of Oz (Wicked Years, #4)


To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading? 
• What do you think you’ll read next?
Current Reads:
When She Woke  South of Salem  Ghost on Black Mountain
Just Finished
A Bloody London Sunset (Sunset Vampire, #2) Psyche Horror: Five Short Works by Joshua ScribnerSeers
What's Next:
Those Across the River   Waterfall (River of Time, #1)  Cascade (River of Time, #2)  Conversations with the Goddess:




Today we have with us Katie Roberta Stevens, author of My Mother Killed Christ But God Loves Me Anyway


From the Back Cover:
Every person has her secrets. If Katie can forgive her mother and herself for theirs, readers of this book can certainly find it in their hearts to forgive their own transgressions. This deeply affecting memoir by a Catholic schoolgirl during the 1960s shares her inspiring journey from an abusive childhood with a schizophrenic mother to an adulthood of redemptive love. My Mother Killed Christ: But God Loves Me Anyway is a triumphant memoir detailing the life of Katie Murphy, a 1960s Catholic School girl struggling to keep the faith acquired at school in a home ruled by a mentally ill mother who believed she killed Jesus Christ. This life story is not divided into years, but into episodes capturing her family’s chaos, created by an absentee father and a mother frequently committed to a mental hospital. She and her four siblings are forced to shoplift food, toiletries and clothing to survive. Meanwhile, Katie's misguided search for parental love leads to an ongoing affair with a priest in high school, marriage to a man twice her age in college, and a twelve year affair with a married man in adulthood. She finally learns the truth about her childhood. Successful, safe and loved today, she lifts the veil of self-blame and anger to trace a path to true forgiveness. The author shares poignant proof that, with conviction, compassion, and truth, even the most damaging past can be transformed into a peaceful and meaningful present.

The Interview

Why did you decide to write your story? 

I decided to write my story because turning 50 caused me to conduct a “mid-life” review and I felt ashamed of many things that I did. When I began writing, in my mind, I was writing a confession seeking forgiveness for the “sins” that I committed. In order to write my story, I had to finally examine my childhood thoroughly for the first time. This process allowed me to acknowledge what I had survived and enabled me to forgive myself. While I am heartily sorry for hurting others as a result of affairs, I think that, without extensive intervention, I was bound to end up in exactly the type of relationships I chose based on my childhood experiences. In other words, as far as relationships with me, I become my mother. 
Yet, if another person dares to imply that I or a sibling failed in life, I instantly defend my family by stating that many adults were raised within a “perfect” family and they don’t have college degrees, teaching and coaching awards, and children with advanced degrees as we do. Also, my siblings are the most upbeat, optimistic and generous people you could ever know. 

What were the most difficult and the easiest parts of writing it? 

The most difficult part of writing my book was recalling my mother’s cruelty to me. I had to remove much of this to make my book more readable. An editor had told me that “the character of the mother was too cruel to be believable.” I laughed at this because my mother was not a character, but I took out some of the cruelest parts. 

The easy parts to write were the sex scenes because my husband and I have a great love affair. At the same time, throughout my life, even though my brain knew when these situations were wrong, my heart and soul were so desperate for physical affection and allowed impulses to win over my intellect. I still have that deep need within me. Can you imagine being a child that has never been touched in a loving way? I could still write these sections passionately, today, because I clearly remember wanting to be held so desperately. 

 What has been the most rewarding moment since its publication? 

The most rewarding moment was receiving 5 Stars from the prestigious MidWest Book Review and from Amazon.com and goodreads.com reviewers. I work as a grant writer ever day, which means I must regularly win writing competitions against writers across the nation to garner funding from the United States Department of Education. However, my dream was to be another kind of writer. Earning 5 Stars from anyone makes me feel as if I have realized this life goal. 
I have to add that the most difficult moments since its publication have been people approaching me at the pool or in public to ask questions about it. I guess I should have expected this, but I am not a victim and have never felt like a victim. I don’t want sympathy. Children in our situation did not sit around saying, “Man, we’re having a tough childhood.” We played stickball, excelled in school, and kept going forward. If I have any advice for teachers or counselors, I would say that the minute someone felt sorry for us, they hindered our growth. Like the nuns who taught me, the adults who said, “Yeah, kid, you have it tough, too bad! You still have to perform!” are those that saved us. 

Are you writing something new? 

I have begun a new book that I hope will be very humorous. 

Who are your favorite authors? 

I don’t have favorite author because, as a former English teacher, I have read many great books. However, I do believe that Jodi Picoult does an excellent job of clearly telling a story that is relevant to today’s social issues. 

 What is your favorite book? 

One of my favorite books is The Kite Runner, but I also enjoyed Sarah’s Key and Water for Elephants. If a book doesn’t grab my attention with excellent writing in the first chapter, I toss it aside. I’ve been doing that a lot lately. 

What is your favorite way to spend the weekend? 

Since moving to Florida, I love to spend the weekend outdoors at the beach, pool, or golf course. 

Tell us why we should read this book? 

I hope you read my book because you want to be moved by what you read. So many books and movies leave me feeling empty. I want an emotional connection with characters. I hope you’ll find that opportunity in my story. Also, my book may enable you to gain perspective before judging others and before judging yourself. We are all on a journey of self discovery and there is a path to peace for all of us if we’re willing to forgive and find compassion for others. I’ve made mistakes, but I’ve also had some great accomplishments. Since publishing, so many people that I see every day have now shared their personal stories of triumph with me. Trust me; there is so much about each other that we don’t know. 

Do you have a favorite quote? If so what is it? 

My favorite quote is one that I paraphrased in my book. I first heard it spoken by a guest on Oprah. It went something like this: True forgiveness is when you can say to the person who wronged you, “Thank you for giving me the experiences that made me who I am today.” My mother made me strong and compassionate. 

 Do you have a web page? 

I do have a web page at www.readkt.com. It is very rudimentary and still a work in progress. 

The Review


* Disclosure: I received this book from a GoodReads Giveaway I won. It in no way influenced my review.

My Mother Killed Christ But God Loves Me Anyway was a difficult book to read. It is the author's story of growing up with a mentally unstable mother. It is very honestly written.  As such I would recommend it for mature readers. Ms. Stevens holds nothing back in writing of her memories of neglect, abuse, theft, sexual issues, and graphic mental breakdowns. That could make the book depressing, harsh and heartbreaking. What saves it are the hope, perseverance, the strong family ties between the siblings ,the kindness and guidance given by others.  
In reading this we come to realize that we can make a difference in the life of a child, even if we have no children. And the importance not to miss the opportunity to do so. My Mother Killed Christ is also a story of forgiveness, not only of those who may have hurt us, but also of ourselves. It took me a bit to get through this book. I think most who read this will either be glued to it  or  will need to read, put down, go do something fun, comeback and read some more. There will be those who will not make it through as well as those who hate it. That is the reality with any book but more so with one that touches on such harsh issues. I can't say I enjoyed this book because it is not entertaining. Am I sorry I read it?  No I am not. It is well written. It is a book that will leave you feeling a lot of mixed feelings. It is a book you want to discuss with a good friend or in a therapy group.  I give it 4 Stars. 

My Mother Killed Christ But God Loves Me Anyway is available on Amazon in both the Kindle and print version as well as at B&N in the print version.

9 comments:

Jenny Q said...

I'm jealous that you're reading When She Woke! Can't wait to start seeing everyone's reviews to see if it's worth the hype! I loved Waterfall and I just treated myself to Cascade. Happy reading!

BJ said...

You've got an impressively eclectic list there! :) I'm impressed. Nice author interview, too.
WWW @ Dark Side of the Covers

Sarah said...

Haven't heard of a lot of those! I'll have to pop over to Goodreads and check em' out. :]

Thanks for stopping by my WoW and following my blog! I'm following your blog now as well! :]

♥ Sarah

Sherrie said...

Hi!
Haven't heard of most of your books. I'll have to check them out. Have a great day!

Sherrie
Just Books
http://sherriesbooks.blogspot.com/2011/08/www-wednesdays.html

Amy said...

Thats a lot of books to be waiting on! :D
Amy's WoW

Cristina said...

Thank you all for stopping by and leaving comments!
jenny I am loving When She Woke.
BJ I like to read a lot of different things and hope my blog reflects that. I hope you like it.
Sarah and Sherrie I hope you come across something you will like. It is one of the joys for me in visiting others blogs - seeing what else is out there.
Amy I could have gone on and on. LOL. There are so many good books coming out!

Jessica@a GREAT read said...

Wow! That's a lot of books! I can't wait for Chloe Neill's either and Gregory Maguire's does sound pretty good too since I've read the other Wicked books!

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Have a GREAT day!!

Lauren B said...

Wow! That's a lot of books.
Thanks for letting me know about the broken link.

Sidne,the BCR said...

The book and interview on My mommy killed Christ but God love me anyway is Awesome. I must get this book. It sounds great!! Thanks for stopping by my blog also.