Between the Pages: Thais Sherell J.
The freedom to do as you please and to break away from the bonds of tradition, conformity and the rules of society as Joyce McDonald takes us into her heart, mind and soul to experience her highs, lows, pitfalls heard from her own voice with the help of author Thais Sherell J. let’s get to hear her story, how she overcame her struggles with drugs, abuse and being pimped out by so many men. This is a story of courage, bravery, hope, despair and fear that someday she would never become the woman she is today. Meet Joyce McDonald.
Wanting to live her life, as someone others will revere, look up to and want to be around was the goal of Joyce McDonald. But, the road to freedom was marred with many obstacles from young ages and the lessons that are taught to all women of any color are reflected in the choices she made and the consequences she faced as a result of those choices. Wanting to believe on others and trusting them she would soon learn was a fatal error and at times you will hear her cries, her fears and tears as she withstands pain at the hand of others. Between the Pages of this revealing and enlightening book you the reader will take the journey along with Joyce from start to finish.
Name calling is something that affected her from a young age as she was born with darker skin than most other kids and for some reason she thought she her face was always dirty. Using cleaners and soaps she scrubbed so hard her face was raw and sore but it did not stop her from trying even more. Ostracized at five in kindergarten, made to stand at the back of the line, Joyce learned the meaning of injustice and bullying. But, no matter how hard she tried her dark skin remained the same. Her father was her spirit and her hero would never paled in comparison to others and always made her feel special and beautiful. She was his Black Princess. Even his words at times went to deaf ears, as at five years old she did not fully comprehend why others were so mean to her. Going outside to play with her brothers she was told never to go in an elevator alone. These words would ring true in her head for years as her brothers disappeared and she called to her father but what she experienced would set the tone for her later years.
Reading this book I realized that she endured many wayward looks and at times felt her life was spiraling out of control and in order to feel accepted by others she wanted to change her image and even erase her skin color. You can hear her despair and frustrations dealing with schoolmates and teachers that did not allow her to flourish. High School did bring some changes as Joyce tells us about her unique fashion style and the wonderful support every step of the way she received from her parents. Fashion seemed to be her forte from early on and at this point I was hoping that her life would take on a more positive tone but it did not. Her short time in a nursing program seemed like it would change things around but one slight mistake took it all away and that’s when Joyce started to make bad choices. This was really very unsettling and surprising that the school never reported that she cut classes. As an educator if a student missed more than two days I would have made a phone call to learn way. Her parents trusted that she would never lie but the power of the syringe and heroin would win out in the long run.
This story teaches and should teach middle school, high school and young adults to look inside deep and hard before doing what this remarkable and courageous woman has shared. Then her choices in partners and friends really went down when she decided to become close to Lance and Deb who helped her addiction take off in a big way. Sad that she had to create her own grades but soon school became in the past and Citibank and Clyde the present which as you read the book it will become evident that he would at first seem like a knight in shining armor but the undertones and the feeling you get when you meet him says something else.
Throughout her journey her parents never faltered and were always there for her no matter what she did. They were her rock, especially her father and going home and needing her mother should have been the first step to success and overcoming her addictions and fears. Joyce it seemed just wanted to be loved, protected, cared for and accepted and dealing with men that she thought could provide this security was one way that she proved to be naïve and shortsighted. At times I just wanted to hop into the pages of the book and try to shake her loose. What she endured, the mishaps, the pregnancies and the wrath of Clyde you would think she would never take him back but sometimes a woman thinks that the person they care about will change. Unfortunately she was mistaken.
Including three poems that express Joyce’s innermost hopes and thoughts Free Me, And Still…. And New Beginnings 2 would define her thoughts, feelings and hopes? The poem that really touched me the most was New Beginnings 2 and I quote: Together, I start new, It will be if we step together, foots entwined, together like a newborn child, we begin.
Learning how to steal, telling the reader that this lifestyle and living on drugs made her feel wonderful, cared for and having a good life it made me wonder why she would think this was great and not think she would ever get caught. Yet, her parents were there every time she fell down.
More relationships, more addictions, more deceptions ending with a man named Van who pretended to care and yet when things got difficult for him Joyce justified her actions because of her feelings for him.
As an educator I have dealt with ACS and it is a credit to them that they stepped in to have her parents care for her children while Joyce had to reflect on her life, her addiction and whether she wanted to change.
The final revelation came when she had a needle and wanted to plunge the heroin into her own to get high and forget the world. But, a miracle did occur, she found God, Jesus and from that point on Joyce saw the light. Her pastor was her mentor and her final triumph can be seen in her art. Hear her words. Take the journey with her and understand the profound, compelling, courageous and inspiring story that she has shared with everyone. Between the Pages of this book I hope others will hear, listen and find their way to HOPE! This is a journey that might make others realize that getting caught up in lies; deceptions and betrayals will bring your life down. However, Joyce finally reflects on her choices, decides to change and her career in the world of art gave her a new direction.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ Magazine