Bangles: My True Story of Escape, Adventure and Forgiveness by Marsha Marie

Book cover for Bangles.

Bangles: My True Story of Escape, Adventure and Forgiveness by Marsha Marie is a personal tale of living outside the “safety” of America and of adopting another country as home.  A sort of variation  of   “An Englishman Abroad” where the heroine of the book takes us though her trails and tribulations via series of books all starting with “Bangles.”

The tale begins with Marsha in an abusive relationship with her first husband. One that ends with her losing custody of her children.  She meets a man from Los Angeles who is Pakistani and they fall in love.  Marsha then decides to ignore the law, which has not been her friend in relation to her children and flee the country of her birth.

She takes her children to Pakistan to live with her new husband’s family in a tiny village that, in 1992, still uses a version of horse and cart to travel long distances.  There are other cultural differences and Marie’s recounting is tinged with humor and that inevitable fish out of water feeling.

Anyone who has lived abroad will recognize the feeling Marsha describes while adjusting to her new home.  It is an amazing story of perseverance and starting over, repeatedly, that keeps the reader turning page after page to move on to the next event in her story.

Each vignette explains something about the writer and, initially, the family she lives with.  It also paints a broad picture of a country and culture that,  in itself, is as different as night and day.

Marsha Marie is now firmly ensconced in the US. She has a website – marshamarie.com and  is working on another two volumes in the “Bangles” series. It is the time of year for reading; summer hols and relaxing days in the garden and all that entails.

Take a moment to read this entertaining, sad at times, and remarkable look at one woman’s journey of self discovery in a country half a world away.

Bangles: My True Story of Escape, Adventure and Forgiveness by Marsha “Yasmine”  Marie is a brilliant start to a series about learning; about one’s self and  about healing.  The book is available on Amazon via Kindle and the second in the series is due out January 2017.

‘Between’ Episode 2: Who’s the Boss (Recap/Review)

Between Tumblr page header
Episode 2 of Between, titled Who’s the Boss, starts on day 14 with almost 7,000 dead adults. The Canadian Prime Minister tells the children in the quarantine zone that they must burn the bodies before the fence comes down. Adam survived the soldiers shooting at him when he attempted to escape and Wiley is not interested in the baby at all.

As interesting as this series could be, thus far it fails to convince. The “poor kids” are in a feud with the rich family who apparently own every big business in Pretty Lake. In the fortnight that things have fallen apart in the community, the streets look like a war zone. Abandoned vehicles, bicycles, rubbish, and shopping trolleys fill the streets.

The kids still text, tweet and Facebook each other in order to meet and exchange information. There is a murderer running about and Lana; the rich kid’s sister, has been shot and left in the woods. The killer tried to make it look like a suicide but M.I.T. Adam quickly worked out that it was not. Someone hacked off Mrs. Marshall’s finger to remove an expensive ring and Amanda almost burns down the supermarket.

Despite all the things going on peripherally; murders, theft and bad feelings between certain factions, Wiley is almost burnt to death after mistakenly being put in the “dead” pit and Adam finds what he believes to be the start of the killer plague, the dead are collected and set on fire per the PM’s mandate. According to her, the fence will come down as soon as the dead are disposed of.

Mark (played by Jack Murray), apparently the only prisoner under the age of 22 in the local jail, has been let loose and he repays the equally young prison guard by knocking her out cold. The Pretty Lake kids all help in lighting the “adult” bonfire. The viewer is meant, by this time, to feel badly for the surviving children but instead, one wonders about the lack of cohesion in the story.

There are too many questions unanswered that no one really cares about. The inclusion of a murder in the mix, signposts clearly that the newly released Mark will be accused. Of course the two “redneck” brothers may become the first suspects considering the existing animosity between the two families.

It seems that communication is beginning to be shut down, or at the very least controlled, when Frances gets a call from her auntie (who is outside the quarantine area) and mid-conversation the signal breaks up and fails. The main problem with Between is the lack of agency interaction. There are no CDC types running around (or the Canadian equivalent), no biohazard suited technicians ever appeared to help the locals deal with all these unexplained and age targeted deaths.

Sadly for Jennette McCurdy, her character was saved from a hideous death and now she will have to limp along with this show until its conclusion. The one thing that could save this series would be characters that one can really get behind and empathize with. Annoyingly, everyone, even Goody-Two-Shoes Gordy, are not given the chance to be fully developed and become someone we really car about.

The rich kid’s family, even with the seemingly obligatory “handicapped” sibling just seem like a variation on a stereotype. The best that can be said of the show so far is that McCurdy has been allowed to cease her Juno impression.

29 May 2015

Michael Knox-Smith

The Bridge: Beholder (Recap/Review)

The Bridge: Beholder (Recap/Review)

In The Bridge: Beholder Fausto has Sebastian’s addicted daughter and he makes a video with the young woman who is obviously going through withdrawal. At the conclusion of the footage Fausto tells Sebastian to, “tell them to stop looking for me.” He then tells the girl’s father that he will blow her brains out if he does not do as instructed. The CIA and the DEA gang up on Detective Cross and take the Eleanor Nacht investigation away from her and the creepy CIA agent asks, in a round about way, about Eleanor’s ledger.

The Bridge: Beholder (Recap/Review)

The Bridge: Beholder (Recap/Review)

In The Bridge: Beholder Fausto has Sebastian’s addicted daughter and he makes a video with the young woman who is obviously going through withdrawal. At the conclusion of the footage Fausto tells Sebastian to, “tell them to stop looking for me.” He then tells the girl’s father that he will blow her brains out if he does not do as instructed. The CIA and the DEA gang up on Detective Cross and take the Eleanor Nacht investigation away from her and the creepy CIA agent asks, in a round about way, about Eleanor’s ledger.