Chewed Confessions: Cheryl Kirwan
What can you tell about a person from the flavor of gum he/she chooses to chew? What can we learn about this person’s personality, work ethic, home life or experiences? There are many sticks of gum out there that have tons of stories that they can share with all of us from the moment the wrapper uncovers them to being strategically placed in the person’s mouth and then the tell tale stories told as the person savors on the flavors emitted within their mouth as this special piece of gum relates to you, the reader the trials, tribulations and problems each faces within a day, month or longer. Let’s meet the nine brave pieces of gum that share their experiences with each one of us and their day spent in the mouth of either a woman whose husband swindled her out of money, a man who had to find a way to save his business and another who just wanted to find the perfect date. Each story intertwines with the next and some of the characters you will meet more than once as author Cheryl Kirwan allows these amazing and tasty pieces of gum to review as she puts it the Chewed Confessions of nine people.
The taste and scent of each piece of gum comes through the zesty flavors are sure to make everyone want to you might say chew their way through each of these great stories and the confessions of each narrator. Let’s start with Cherry Jubilee as the stick of gum relates how he became one and the same with a young man named Jason’s mouth and taste buds. Jason was a good-looking guy looking for the perfect date or woman. As you read this confession you will learn more about his choices, his list or requirements, what part this stick of gum plays as he helps move the story along and the endless hours this young man spends on a site on the net called Dreams Come True, an online dating service. The author and our piece of gum describe the dates, their profiles and his reaction to each one that he meets. Jason is very picky, has definite criteria and the end result you have to read for yourself. To go along on each date and learn more about Jason read the first confession. At the end our piece of gum winds up on the sidewalk next to a piece of sassy raspberry comparing their adventures and day.
Minty chocolate is next as we hear from this sweet tasting gum and learn about a man named Peter whose business is in dire trouble and who has to figure out a way to safe it before its too late. Taking on small construction projects to keep his business afloat this confession is about this man being sued by a woman whose spa he worked on and the end result was anything but up to code. His construction company was the general contractor for this project and when you learn what happens and how each party responsible for some part of it blames the other you just might understand Peter’s predicament. As he becomes angry or thinks over the situation his begins to chew more violently and the end result just might endear you to Peter. Where the gum winds up right next to a piece of yellow gum as he relates Peter’s story or confession about how he saved his business. Next, we meet Peter’s sister Abby whose life is turned upside down when she marries a man that turns out to be a big fraud. Peppermint is her gum of choice and she is presently sitting in a courtroom waiting for the judge to rule and hear her case dealing with how he cheated on his business, lied to her, cheated on her and caused her financial stress. When you read her story and hear her voice you will want to come into court and make sure the judge rules in her favor. She tells her story with the help of our peppermint gum about how she saved Terry’s business, how she paid off his debts and helped him overcome his drug problem. But, there is more and when you see and hear what happens in court you will be surprised that she did not take more action. Remembering how they met, their courtship, the fact that she did not know he had two daughters and so much excess package, Abby would regret that she did not see the many red flags the author and our peppermint gum shares with us. When you care about someone you tend to overlook their faults and sometimes the obvious. How this ends you won’t believe and where Abby winds up well you have to read it for yourself. Sometimes endings are unexpected, as Abby feels dejected leaving the courtroom. Next, we meet her cousin Piper whose story is much different in some respects. Losing many jobs and constantly having to look for new ones this story told by our next piece of Clove flavored gum deals with a woman who is smart, resourceful and quite enterprising. Piper and Abby are related and they both have an Aunt Rita who is the main character of the next story told by our special flavored gum: Cinnamon. Aunt Rita works for a pharmaceutical company that came out with a product to help people stop smoking. The product is called Cigno and has been approved by the FDA. But, we meet Rita when things have gone bad and she reflects on her job, the clinical trials and her sales team. She reflects on her position and the hard work that she and everyone has been doing to promote this product, sell it to doctors and hopefully help people stop smoking. But, when things turn sour, some people die and others have serious side effects, she contacts the head of the company and when you read the letter he sends he you will cringe. What the end result is you will have to learn when you read this confession and hear what our cinnamon flavored gum has to say. Next, let’s meet Rita’s nephew Matthew who is the manager of a car dealership. Matthew is shrewd, enterprising and dishonest in many ways. He falsifies invoices, steals money and is into his bookie for quite a bit. Matthew has an accomplice at the car dealership and together they have made quite a bit of money stealing from the owner who has not put any safety guidelines or security measures in place. Trusting Matthew was a mistake and not monitoring his business an even bigger one. So, how does Matthew figure out what to do read his confession, listen to what the gum has to say about him after he is discarded? Matthew’s flavor is Mega Mint Delight. Summer Mint followed by Triple Bubble tells the next confession. Summer Mint is the story of a man named Artie who finds out his wife is cheating on him and Triple Bubble is about a young boy, Artie’s nephew named Rudy who is smart, loves to play the trumpet and hopes to make his grandfather proud of him wherever he might be. Artie’s life is wonderful until he sees his wife Cindy embracing another man and he confronts her. Rudy is a smart and sweet kid who seeks the company of a young girl named Savannah. What happens to Rudy and if he succeeds just ask the Tripple Bubble piece of gum and read his confession. In story one remember we met Jason who dated many women. One woman named Carly did not understand why he never called her back as we meet our final piece of gum: Fruity Explosion who tells the story of Lester, Rudy’s grandfather who left home to see the world and travel. Telling about his days in the army, his early life, meeting his wife and family Lester is truly a colorful character. Hitchhiking through Europe, witnessing many riots in Oakland, seeing the Black Panthers and marching with its leaders to improve the civil rights of African Americans. Lester marched along side of them. He graduated Berkley. He was smart, enterprising and definitely had a revolutionary spirit. What happens when he realizes he missed his grandson Rudy and wanted to hear his voice? How he manages to connect and what that has to do with Carly from story one you won’t get that from me or even the Fruity Explosion piece of gum because author Cheryl Kirwan would much prefer you read it for yourself.
Many of the stories intertwine. The author ends each story in a unique way with each piece of gum joining others in different places sharing the events of their day. Some relating positives and others negatives about the person whose mouth they spent an entire day. One thing that I can say is that I am sure there are many more flavors of gum that we have not met. There are many more stories that this talented author can relate. There are many more confessions I am sure that we still want to hear. Betrayals, love, loyalty, hope, understanding, disappointments and much more are just some of the themes in each of these stories. Let’s not forget honesty and integrity. Let’s hope the author goes out and buys some more gum to entice our reading pallets and keep the juicy flavors and confessions coming. Each story told by the piece of gum and the narrator or person chewing the gum. Stories that are true to life and this book a definite must read.
Fran Lewis: reviewer : Let’s give this book: Five Juicy Pieces of Watermelon Gum: my favorite.