Three cheers for Carson City, Nevada author, Teri Case on her debut novel! I was lucky enough to receive it as a gift from a friend.
Teri gets deep and personal in this family drama set in a trailer park very similar to the one in which she and her siblings were raised. The voices of the mother, father, sister, and brother are both vibrant and heartbreaking. Each character demonstrates the damage that poverty, abuse, and addiction can wreak on human beings. To protect themselves, they inflict further damage by keeping secrets from one another. While readers may not like the characters, they will find it hard not to empathize.
“Do you ever think we all would just be happier if everyone worked together and supported each other? I feel like my parents…and my older siblings only take care of themselves. It’s like my family doesn’t think there is enough of a good thing to go around, so they all scrap for the best of the worst, climb over each other, fight over rations, and then boom…they vanish when someone needs them. And that leaves me no better than them and looking out for myself…”
The author successfully paints each character into a corner, where neither they nor the reader can see any way out. Could these characters ever find redemption? Each of them will need to find resilience and the fierce drive of a tiger if they are to survive much less succeed.
More importantly, I believe Tiger Drive reinforces one of the reasons I read–to experience lives outside my own. The characters’ desperate lives and blistering responses to the chaos swirling around them are so foreign to my own life, that I was at first taken aback. Their struggles caused me to reflect on the assumptions and judgments I may have made when I encountered troubled children and families not only in my teaching career, but also in my life. I hope I have at least been kind. As a human being, kindness and compassion should be my first response. My prime directive. It costs us nothing to “make room for hope, faith, and opportunity” in our hearts. Having one person believe in us can make all the difference.
Thanks for a compelling read and the lesson, Teri.
5 thoughts on “Book Report: Can you make room for hope, faith, and opportunity?”
Thank you for your time, perspective, and for your years of teaching. I’m over the moon with your response to TIGER DRIVE. You get it. You get it. Thank you for being you.
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You are so welcome!
This does sound like an eye-opening, interesting book; and I like that it is written by a Carson City author. I’ll check it out for sure. Also, Lorie, I’m sorry that the comments on your last post were closed. I wanted to tell you that I would have opened and considered buying a book with such a blurb: two friends, two different lives, reunited later in life. Sounds good to me!
I hope you do check out her book. That post about my book progress had several still undiagnosed difficulties. It kept reverting to earlier drafts and then disappearing. Very strange and frustrating. The comments must have been closed somewhere in the chaos. Open now. Thanks for letting me know.
Now to continue whipping my book into something like the story in my head. It has a little “late in life” romance which you might appreciate.
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