Joy Parker was her parents’ greatest surprise and she brought much happiness into their lives. Her childhood was wonderful despite the animosity and resentment thrown her way by her older siblings. Her life as she once knew it was shattered by an unforeseeable calamity and she is forced to live in total opposition to what she was accustomed to.
A few years later, Joy’s life has been thrown into disarray again as she has been catapulted into a new world full of possibilities, opportunities she once thought would have never been available to her. Winning the biggest lottery payout in Wisconsin history brings elation, anxiety and all of Joy’s vulnerabilities to the surface. Money isn’t the beginning and end to everything and Joy needed to make crucial decisions for her life. Would the mind-boggling sum of money bring Joy complete fulfilment and the peace of mind she desires? Despite the numerous changes in her life, would Joy always be the outsider looking in?
From the first page of this story, Joy stole my heart and I am very proud to say that she now owns it, totally. Her persistent desire to survive and thrive in the hostile environments she was thrust into had me rooting for her all the way. For someone who was treated so shabbily by her own family, Joy has so much love within her and her humble mannerisms endeared her to me.
Robyn is a caseworker at one of the Milwaukee shelters Joy has visited. She befriended Joy with the hope of helping Joy to get back on her feet. I really love Robyn’s feisty personality. She’s not afraid to speak her mind and stand up for the people that she cares for. She takes an active interest in the welfare of the people who visit the homeless shelter where she works. She is also very family oriented and she is fiercely loyal to her family and friends.
I do not like Joy’s siblings at all because they treated Joy so badly. They just expected her to overlook what they did to her because in their minds they were her family and whatever cruelties they dished out to her should be forgotten because it was all in the past.
The Writing Style
The writer did an excellent job of capturing the emotions of the characters in the story. I felt as though I was embedded in Joy’s inner world as she navigated the high and low moments of her life. The story flowed seamlessly from one event to the other and the author described the people and places so vividly that I had a clear picture in my mind for each person and place.
I really enjoyed watching Joy grow into the woman she wanted to become. Her inner journey was not an easy one despite having a tremendous fortune. Embedded within this story are many wise sayings that have stuck with me and I know that these precious words of wisdom will remain with other readers as well.
Child exploitation and neglect was mentioned in the story.
This story will make you laugh, cry and cheer loudly for Joy. K’Anne Meinel’s profound description of Joy’s journey, the pain she bore and all of the obstacles she faced is so worth it, and this story is one that should be read by many women.
This story celebrates character growth, and defines the meaning of true self-worth and what makes a real family.
Excerpt from The Outsider by K’Anne Meinel
Joy had loved her parents, but she had a healthy sense of reality. She hadn’t realized she was indulged, hadn’t flaunted it, but knew to accept it gratefully. She also learned to make do when her petty siblings took her things, broke them, and then blamed her. She realized there was a harshness in life that had nothing to do with her. She hadn’t gone into her young-adult years with blinders on. She was well-liked at school, her parents loved her, but she always knew her siblings didn’t like her in the least. While it didn’t bother her anymore, she was puzzled at their resentment. It hadn’t been her fault her parents had her so late in life. They resented everything about her and in their final pettiness to her, left her abandoned to the system. Well, she wouldn’t resent them. Instead, she would forget about them. They didn’t love her, didn’t want her, and she wouldn’t want them either. Her parents had loved her enough to create a strong and wonderful young woman and she wouldn’t sully her memory of them by dwelling on what her siblings had done to her.
Joy was shocked to find the suitcase and backpack of belongings she brought into the system was soon rifled through and most of her things stolen. Other foster children, foster parents, and people who considered themselves do-gooders, unknowingly made things worse for the now parentless child. Joy’s age was against her; at fifteen, many thought of her as an adult. Some of the older foster children treated her worse than her siblings, if that were possible. The ‘system’ failed most foster children. Some ended up in homes so bad that to speak of it was to have someone upset at them over their income being jeopardized. The ‘system’ did not work on so many levels it was laughable. Joy was a victim of this system. She’d gone from loving and caring parents to no one caring at all.
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Bits and Bobs
ISBN number: 9781543159554
Publisher: Shadoe Publishing
K’Anne Meinel Online
Note: I received a free review copy of The Outsider by K’Anne Meinel. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.