About the Book
Unmarked Escape Routes is a soul-searching portrayal of a kid who grows up, climbs the wall of her past, and looks back on it with forgiveness and freedom.
The journey required to get to that point gives voice to many children who grew up in the pandemonium of alcoholism, depression and mental illness, and longed to grasp what it was they did to deserve the mistreatment. The book is a path to redemption from childhood pain to compassion for those hurt people that hurt others. Written with elegant prose, insight and humor, Unmarked Escape Routes is soul healing.
This coming of age story chronicles a child’s struggle between remaining loyal to her family of origin and the desire to flee from its terror. The memoir is seen through the eyes of Deborah, the eldest of three children born to an unlikely couple: an Oakey sailor and an English nurse, who are both reeling from the horrors of war and broken hearts from lost loves. They meet by chance and attempt to create a life together. Momma is looking for a better life in America while Daddy is looking for his next bottle of beer.
As a child, Deborah internalizes her family’s dysfunction, struggles with insecurities, and has a ‘band of bullies’ inside her head that aim to beat her down. In order to survive emotionally, she seeks solace in her secrets, in nature’s magical artistry and from the love of an unseen presence that ultimately absolves her of undeserved blame. As the family unravels, Deborah is faced with continuous upheaval where she must navigate through roller coasters of terrain that shuffled her from town to town, house to house, with and without parents.
What could have easily broken her, instead gave Deborah an inner strength and resilience through friendships and families not made up of blood, but of a love and willingness to give her the sense of belonging that she had always yearned for.
You'll cheer for little Deborah nicknamed Seadog #2 as she navigates stormy seas and docks in safe harbors. And nod your head in recognition of the fact that re-visioning a childhood does not free us from the fears, disappointments and setbacks that occur from risking involvement in life, but that the rewards of living joyfully in the present as a result of spiritually re-parenting is a blessing beyond words.