Monday, September 1, 2008

"Courage in Patience"

Beth Fehlbaum is a teacher with a M.Ed. She drew on her experience working with abused children as an English teacher in writing Courage in Patience, a story of hope for those who have endured abuse.

She applied the Page 69 Test to the book and reported the following:
Page 69, in its entirety:

"You had my daughter examined without my permission? How dare you! She's only fifteen years old. She is a minor. I am her legal guardian! How dare you?"

"No, ma'am, how dare you. Someone raped your daughter, and if knowing that doesn't concern you in the least, then you've got a problem." Detectives Gardner and Pratt shot Officer Sheffield a look in reaction to his outburst.

Officer Sheffield blushed and said, "I'll be outside. Let me know when you want him cuffed."

"Now's as good a time as any," Pratt said. "Mr. Baker, we are placing you under arrest for suspicion of sexual assault of a child. You have the right to remain silent.."


Mrs. C. asked C.J. Cornell if she could take me to get something to eat before we met my dad at the Children and Family Services offices. C.J. agreed and said it would give her time to get in touch with the Northside PD to see if Charlie had been taken into custody.

We went to an Applebee's near the office complex. I could barely stop shaking long enough to hold the menu, much less decide on something to eat. Mrs. C. made the executive decision that we would each like a burger and fries and sent the curious waitress scurrying away with an arch of her eyebrow when the waitress started asking me if I was okay. "Of course she's okay. Don't you have some orders to turn in or something?"

I was definitely not okay. In fact, to say I was freaked out is like saying

Page 69 of Courage in Patience, a story of hope for those who have endured abuse, is representative of the fundamental problem in the story: fifteen-year-old Ashley Nicole Asher has been sexually abused since the age of nine, and when she tells her mother what has been going on, her mother turns her back on her. It is a crystallizing moment; Ashley describes herself as feeling like a mirror that someone has hit over and over again with a hammer. She is shards of glass.

Most mothers would give their own lives for their child. Ashley's mom isn't like that. The emotional damage done by her refusal to acknowledge the truth is, in many ways, equal to or worse than the damage done by Charlie.

The good news is, Ashley's absentee biological father, David is reunited with Ashley in the offices of Children and Family Services. Ashley has to learn whether or not he deserves her trust. Her life begins anew when David brings her home to the tiny Texas town of Patience, Texas. She meets other teens in a summer school English class, and, like all of them, learns what she is made of when she faces her greatest fears.
Read an excerpt from Courage in Patience, and learn more about the book and author at the Courage in Patience blog and Beth Fehlbaum's MySpace page.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue