Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Book review: Scammed by Ron Chudley

My review:  Scammed had me on the edge of my seat, to the last page.
My questions:  Guilt over the death of his parents drives otherwise level-headed Greg down a path of self-destruction. Why? Was it the bond to his mother? Or guilt over the estrangement to his father? Did he feel that he was a living an ineffectual life? Was seeking justice his opportunity to proof his usefulness?
My thoughts: Instead of action, when my mom died I became paralyzed.
While she was alive I worked to further my career--caring for children in a day care centre, studying to complete a social work degree, and volunteering as a co-facilitator with a group of parents who were at risk of abusing their children. She died and my world dissolved into tears, sleep and thoughts of suicide. I didn't know how to escape my pain.
My mom and I had always been close. Even though, I'd moved two provinces away years before her death, Mom continued to help me navigate through life right up until she died.
Without her, I was lost. My faith, my husband, and counseling eventually enabled me to collect the shattered pieces of my broken life.
For me, a complete change was the only answer. My husband and I moved from a city--Coquitlam--to a rural island--Mayne Island. I abandoned my career; I stopped volunteering. All my jobs, all my training had been in the social services. So I was forced to find a new path.
Although it was difficult, I persevered and now my life soars with possibilities.
Regardless of your age or the quality of your relationship, your parents' death will have a profound effect on your life.
There is help; you're not alone; reach out -- someone will be there to support you.

I recently found this book:  The Orphaned Adult:  Understanding and Coping with Grief and Change After the Death of Our Parents

From Library Journal
The death of one's parents is "the ultimate equal-opportunity" experience; becoming an orphan as an adult happens to nearly everybody. Yet despite the flood of self-help books on death and the grieving process, very little (with the exception of Hope Edleman's Motherless Daughters) has been written on parental loss. Incorporating how own personal experience with the accounts of others who have lost their parents, psychologist Levy examines this profound life-changing event with compassion and understanding. Since our parents "project an illusion of permanence," writes Levy, their death forces us to confront our own mortality (we are next in line to die) and to adjust to our new identities as orphaned adults. Indeed, he argues that this stripping of our childish beliefs is the first step toward true adulthood:  "Perhaps only after parents have died can people find out what they are going to be when they grow up." This wise and caring book is recommended for all collections. AWilda Williams, "Library Journal"

blurb:  When Greg Lothian's mother and famous artist father are scammed of their life savings by cruel con men, his orderly life is torn apart. When the same criminals steal Greg's own identity, the normally law-abiding accountant turns his analytical mind to plotting revenge. This uncharacteristic decision plunges him into the strange and horrifying underworld that lurks everywhere--even on peaceful Vancouver Island. As Greg prepares to find the perpetrators of the debilitating crime, he sets up a clever plan of entrapment and descends into a whirlpool of evil that puts others and Greg's very existence at risk.

The magnificent panorama of the Pacific coast, with its mountains, dense forest, fog-shrouded shores and swift, cold rivers, provides the moody setting for this tale of crime and punishment--and bravery.