"Seems like no matter how strong a woman is, it's not strong enough."
Dead Above Ground by Jervey Tervalon is about a family of women, Helen, Ruby and Lita who find themselves not living fully because of their fear of one man in New Orleans. The man is Lucien. It is not that these women have strong imaginations. The fact is Lucien is a horrible man. He is a man who lives as if the word love and protection for women are not words in his vocabulary.
The story begins with Ruby. She is used in every way a man could use a woman. Lucien makes her life seem like she is "dead above ground." Unfortunately, she becomes pregnant while living this death above ground. Thank God, there are strangers who enter our lives as angels. This angel's name is Helen. This is a heavy story, a bold story, a survivor's story. The book is small. It is a quick read because I could not stop reading until I finished it.
I do believe Jervey Tervalon must have a heart for women, a love for women and children. I could feel his compassion through the lines of hate and pain. This book is not all sad. There is the strength of family. It is about a family holding tight through secrets, fears and sorrows.
I thought a lot about the many ways women live their lives. Each woman's story is different. Yet all women have a strong willingness, need, desire, hunger to protect their children. Sometimes we take care of the children of other people too. Their is a natural need to nurture never forsaking a helpless child. This book made me proud to be a woman, proud to be a mother and proud to be a grandmother.
I also felt a focused light on my purpose in life. My purpose is not one of fame and glory. It is a purpose of enduring love even when I am not loved. This is a book, "Dead Above Ground," by Jervey Tervalon for women and men. Dead Above Ground surpasses gender. It goes to the base of a pyramid and works upward. The book is about people wanting more than emotional and physical pain in their lives. Sometimes people have to stretch and look ahead to another place. After all, our places are our homes. By the way, this is also Historical fiction. The story begins in 1946.