Title: The Birthday Bash
Author: Elizabeth Sorrells
Published: February, 2011
Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
Overview of the Book: Murder has a way of ripping all wounds wide open, but Marion Mae has been a survivor all her life and she was not about to stop now. Looking upon her brother’s battered remains’; she tries to absorb the details of his homicide. The images of watching his heart stop. Instead, Mae’s mind is suddenly opened to morbid memories that are returning to her for the fi rst time. Rage consumes her as she struggles to accept the lies circulating about Seven’s last days on earth. As the police and district attorney’s offi ce attempt to gloss over mistakes, the suspect list grows; Mae becomes determined to set the record straight. Even with her broken heart, Mae refused to rest until the memory of her brother was repaired. But the closer she comes to the truth, the harder it is to accept. Mae needs answers before she can go on with her life. As she attempts to uncover the motive for his murder and discover who exactly was involved, she soon discovers that the details of Seven’s life and death are far murkier than she could have imagined.
Sneak Preview: Death is your only true guarantee about life. Every mortal is transient. Everything changes. With each second forward in time, it’s the simplest promise you have, that what you are and what you will be, is all temporary. Murder is an extremely violent way of learning lessons. Yet, it’s common to man, and as Mae wrote out her agonized feelings, it was becoming more ordinary by the day. Those like her are eternally marked by its demonist signature. In its wake, Mae had been born again as a complete stranger to herself. She didn’t know who or what she’d been made into by the experience of watching Seven die. His death hadn’t been natural in any respect of the word. It was preventable, yet it happened. Everyday, she felt heartache and hatred, flowing through her. Revenge fantasies began popping into her head so graphic and horrifying; Mae feared she was losing her sanity. In the blurry and numb days after the death, Mae shuffled her feet, but had no reason to live. Hope had faded when his heart stopped, and there would be no waking up from the nightmare. Emotions that she had never known seeped out of every pore in her body. She felt isolated and alone. Her heart and mind felt different and damaged. Her family had been violently robbed of what could have been what should have been, but never would be. Fear was for the first time in her life, not a factor. Seething every split second, she found so many to blame, including herself. She became obsessed with fixing her murdered brother’s ruined reputation and seeking justice for the crime. Embracing such pain was like trying to harness a bucking bull. The intense aching was fueled by anger, which absorbed so much energy. Truth is the one path to justice, and it was the most elusive journey of all. She couldn’t stop herself, she was obsessed. Seven’s memory deserved more than just the word we use for justice, his killers deserved retribution. Mae’s words would invoke a reckoning. She didn’t go out looking for this tale; it found her. Her chronicles would become her war plans and her pen would become her sword. The murder wasn’t the beginning of his family’s ordeal, it was the grand finale of an entire years worth of dangerous drama. How do you go on after such a tragedy? Where do you find the strength needed to move past the intense and permanent pain you are in? Mae’s family had been shattered like glass, and the chances of ever being able to put themselves back together again was slim to none. Still, none of those who formed and maintained the storm of controversy concerning her brother would have ever guessed Seven’s family was packing a survivor named Marion Mae, who wouldn’t rest until the memory of her brother was repaired. Had he simply been out at the wrong time of night, drunken and disorderly? Or had he been a target of murder the entire night? Was the one sole accused, acting all alone? Had Seven been the perpetrator or victim? Was Seven murdered out of self defense or was he mobbed and robbed? Was his wife involved? Most of the time murder has motive but for some it seems it’s just something fun to do on a care free Saturday night.
My Thoughts: The book is quite difficult to get into because there is a great deal of traveling back and forth in time, setting the scene, and between that and Mae's "journaling" it can get a bit frustrating. The story line is what hooks you and before you know it you are right there suffering with this family. I borrowed it from my niece for a beach read on Saturday, in case I finished the book I was reading, "Heaven is For Real." I did not actually begin the book until late Sunday night and yesterday it kept drawing me to sit down and finish what I had started. It is a sad book because it is so hard to believe that local authorities would ever treat anyone this way. Yet, this fiction work is a thinly veiled story based on complete fact. This really did happen to someone....somewhere....in Alabama. The names (people and places) were all changed to protect those involved, and still alive. What a story! I pray that this never happens to me....or someone I love.
About the Author: Elizabeth Sorrells was born, raised, and still lives in Alabama.
Disclaimer: I am not reviewing this book for money. I simply borrowed it and thought some of you might like to read it. IUniverse, Inc. is not expecting a positive review from me.