Today I am pleased to announce the recent publication of the audio book for one of my favourite books of the last year [ reviewed earlier here: https://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/2013/03/09/sienna-rose-bridge-ices-before-road/ ]
The year is 1970. In a blue-collar suburb of Boston, two eleven year-old Catholic girls struggle to come of age in a culture still very much dominated by men.
They watch in dismay as their fathers and priests determine the lives of the women around them. Loyalty to family and church is paramount; women and children suffer in silence rather than expose the men who do them harm.
Frances Orillio is an adopted, only child; she is self-critical, anxious, and vulnerable. Maddy Malone is one of six children, and grew up in a rough housing project scrapping with the boys. Although they are strikingly different in temperament, they forge an enduring friendship on the path to becoming strong, independent women.
Together, they battle the tangled jungle of ignorance, racism, and homophobia that goes hand in hand with the culturally entrenched discrimination against women. Like the treacherous roads in a New England winter, the way is fraught with hidden dangers.
Family secrets and lies are like the invisible black ice on a bridge: if you don’t watch out for the signs, it can be deadly.
Here is a review, taken from theindietribe
Bridge Ices Before Road, by S. Rose
A Great Book Reviewed, by Charlie Bray
The book opens with Frances Orillio, like most children of her age, learning her way. But unlike most children she is not developing in the midst of a caring, loving family whose very existence revolves around its offspring. She is trying to plot a course through a plethora of secrets and lies, unaware of where she comes from and with little idea where she is headed. She is, nevertheless, brought up to observe certain values and standards, and to know her place within society. She knows that, whilst by no means affluent, she is certainly not at the bottom of the pile. She is taught that Negro children, for instance, play in their park and white children play in their park. When she challenges this she is treated to a back-hander from her dad for being ignorant. She is told to avoid certain dodgy alleyways around her neighborhood, which are apparently infested by equally dodgy individuals. So when she inadvertently finds herself in one, and is confronted by Mad-Dog Malone and her brother Tommy, her minder, in a dark alley, she is treated to a crash course in life at the bottom of the pile.
It is during this encounter that the incredible skill of the author, Sienna Rose shines through for the first time. Almost paralyzed with fear, Frances flays around for common ground in the hope that the similarly aged tomboy, Mad-Dog will refrain from attacking her. The superb dialogue that ensues throughout this scene, and the undoubted bond that rapidly develops between the two, is actually the catalyst of the whole story. We are privileged to follow the girls into early adulthood and to witness how burning issues of the time – homophobia, women’s rights, racism, abuse and hypocrisy are dealt with so clumsily that, in hindsight, the reader’s toes curl with shame and embarrassment.
Another area in which the author excels is the one of setting. She paints a breathtakingly accurate mental image of the period, and is very adept at depicting every detail of deprived locations. The reader is actually in there amongst the characters. What a way to enjoy a book!
And quite apart from dialogue and setting, the main characters themselves are given so much depth that they will never be strangers to the reader, who will always care deeply what happens to them.
Two action scenes portray how adept this wordsmith is at that particular category. In one horrifying scene, Mad-Dog’s drunken father is violently assaulting his children, who try hard to protect each other. He is interrupted by an unexpected visit from the local priest, who decides discretion is the better part of valor and creeps sheepishly away. I was that absorbed and emotionally charged by the skillful writing of this scene that I dearly wanted to dive down into my kindle and sort Mad Tommy out myself. I know, they’ll be coming to take me away anytime now.
The other scene is a raging inferno, so intense in description that the reader does well to avoid being burned.
In conclusion, this book excels in all areas. Relationships are tenderly explored, social issues are dealt with in keeping with the era that the book is set within, dialogue continually moves the plot forward, the setting is created with such clarity that the reader seems to be part of it all and the action scenes are quite breath-taking and often harrowing.
I cannot recommend this book strongly enough and urge you to read it.
Available in Paperback and Kindle from Amazon.com
The audio version of this book is available now on Amazon, as well as audible.com. The voice of the narrator, Jeanne Whitehouse, suits it perfectly. She is a top producer for Audio Creation Exchange, and those who happen to enjoy audio books can be assured of a high quality professional product.
The audio version of this book is available on audible.com and the narrator, Jeanne Whitehouse, suits it perfectly. She is a top producer for Audio Creation Exchange, and those who happen to enjoy audio books can be assured of a high quality professional product.
Sienna Rose is a Massachusetts native, born in 1959 and residing in Florida since 2002. In 1996, she earned a BA in psychology from UMASS Boston, and in 2001, an M.Ed. in school counseling from Cambridge College, Cambridge, MA. Because she has always been concerned with those who are different and vulnerable to bullying and abuse, Ms. Rose wrote her master’s thesis on the needs of gay/lesbian/bi/trans youth in school. In addition to school counseling, she is licensed to teach English, social science, primary education, and exceptional student education in the state of Florida. In 2011, Ms. Rose started an educational consulting and advocacy service, ESE SOS, in order to assist parents of children with disabilities in school. Bridge Ices Before Road is her first novel.