WOW! Women on Writing
For White Elephants, a Memoir
by Chynna T. Laird
Elephant in the middle of the living room--that is one way of explaining how a family walks around the invisible presence of huge problems. Hindsight is what brings the elephant into focus.
Somehow at the innocent age of five Tami began to see the bulky creature crowding her family and took on a sense of responsibility far beyond expectation for her age. Her mother was different than other mothers. Family life in their household was not pretty. No one seemed to notice. No one did anything about it, and Tami wanted someone to do just that. As an adult Tami took on her first name, Chynna, and took up the challenge to find out what might have helped her mother fight her battle of self-destruction. She couldn't help her mother, but she would consider it worth everything if her family's story helped another.
This candid memoir is a story of one girl's struggle to deal with her mother's alcoholic/bipolar condition--the white elephant no one else would see. With a conversational tone, Laird shares her remarkable story of abuse, survival, and her triumphant recovery into becoming a healthy, well adjusted wife and mother. Tastefully written, this book will touch your heart. It offers hope that, no matter where you come from, life is what you make it.
About the Author:
Chynna Laird is a psychology major, freelance writer and multi award-winning author living in Edmonton, Alberta with her partner, Steve, and their three daughters [Jaimie (almost nine), Jordhan (six), and baby Sophie (three)] and baby boy, Xander (five). Her passion is helping children and families living with Sensory Processing Disorder and other special needs.
You’ll find her work in many online and in-print parenting, inspirational, Christian and writing publications in Canada, United States, Australia, and Britain. In addition, she’s authored an award-winning children’s book (I’m Not Weird, I Have SPD), two memoirs (the multi award-winning, Not Just Spirited: A Mom’s Sensational Journey With SPD and White Elephants), a Young Adult novel (Blackbird Flies), an adult Suspense/Thriller (Out Of Sync to be released March 2012), and a Young Adult Suspense/Mystery/Paranormal/Sweet Romance (Undertow, to be released 2012). She’s also working on a sequel to Not Just Spirited called Not Just Spirited: The Journey Continues and a few other projects in the works for Middle Grade and Young Adult readers.
My Book Review of White Elephants:
I tend to measure the books I read by what happens when I am not actually reading them. When I set the book down, does it speak to me? Does it push me to pick it back up? Does it suck me in and hold me there and then when the story is over, does it stay with me? To me that is a 5 star book and “White Elephants” was exactly that.
When I started the memoir, I had no idea how the story would go, I was quickly sucked in by Chynna's words and when I had to set the book down to do something else, I quickly came back to it. Even a day after reading the book, memories of her words written still linger in my mind.
Chynna Laird laid it all out on the line, showing us in words the essence of her very dark and stressful upbringing. Chynna gave insight into a world that very few know about and those that have firsthand experience sometimes will not share because of the painful memories associated with it.
The writing of the memoir was excellent. The scenes written graphically enough to show you what needed to be seen, yet not over bearing. Chynna starts out when she is 5 years old and continues on until she is in her thirties. The stories she reveals will tear your heart and make you wish that you could reach into the pages to help.
I applaud Chynna for allowing the painful barriers to come down and for sharing her story. If others could read this, then maybe more people would get the help that they need. Thank you, Chynna for sharing. And thank you for fighting and surviving your past so that you could share your message with everyone. Your story will live inside of me for a long time, and that right there makes your book worth every word written!
How to Reach Chynna Laird
Chynna Laird’s Website:
Chynna Laird’s Blogs: