Review of The Part That Burns

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PeterRabitt20
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Review of The Part That Burns

Post by PeterRabitt20 »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Part That Burns" by Jeannine Ouellette.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Jeannine Ouellette’s The Part That Burns is a heart-grabbing memoir. It’s like being teleported to another time and another place.

Ouellette writes about her family life growing up, motherhood, and her trauma recovery. The events are commonplace occurrences, mostly. For example, being punished for chores, the many home addresses, and the family pets. She describes the year she lived with her biological father and his wife (who seemed to hold something against Ouellette). She gives snippets of the sexual abuse by her stepfather at an early age. Naturally, this is a sensitive spot for her; but, she shares it with her readers—nonetheless. I applaud her determination and strength.

The author presents her life in a non-linear fashion, which makes it even more gripping. For example, the book begins with an adult memory before rewinding to her toddler years. At some point, the timeline crisscrosses from pubescence age, back to childhood, and forward to her college days. There is always an anchor point around which the story revolves, such as the family dogs and the tumbleweeds. Each anchor seems to mirror the family dynamics and has shaman-like connections to the events. For example, the family dogs (almost like spirit animals) sponge up the emotional tension indiscriminately. I relished this mirrored symbolism of the author's subconscious mind.

Whether it is her toe-pajama or the soggy basement carpet, Ouellette has an amazingly detailed memory. She reminisces fondly about her childhood friends and teachers. However, it is the emotions associated with those moments that leave a lasting impression.

I absolutely loved the intense voice and tone bringing the author’s past selves alive; additionally, they showed which stage of her life is being presented. Four-year-old Ouellette speaks in a perfect preschooler lingo; whereas, her teenage self is more grounded in her thoughts.

Consequently, I rate The Part That Burns 4 out of 4 stars. Ouellette’s style is expressive, and her story is evocative. She gives the reader a sentiment close to being reincarnated multiple times. Since I have no bones to pick with this book, a lower rating is unnecessary. Moreover, it seems exceptionally well-edited.

It is a must-read for those who enjoy stories with a strong voice. I also recommend it to anyone looking for a book based on true family dramas. There is some description of pedophilia and sexual abuse; therefore, I caution sensitive readers. I do not recommend it to readers who dislike the non-linear flow in the timeline—but, I encourage them to try it.

******
The Part That Burns
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Kelyn
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Post by Kelyn »

Keeping up with non-linear flow can be challenging reading. It sounds like the author did well in planting 'anchor points' for each transition. That would help lessen any confusion that might occur and make it less like flashbacks and more... flowing. I'm not sure how else to put that. Many sci-fi books use this effect, so I'm familiar with it. I might give this one a try. Thanks for the great review!
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Post by Humera955 »

I appreciate the author for sharing her life experience with the readers
Great review🍀
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Post by Ellylion »

Sounds like a captivating memoir really worth trying :) Thank you for this insightful review!
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Rashawn Carter
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Post by Rashawn Carter »

I always find it admirable when a author has the courage to write about their real life experiences. It seems she has went through many hardships in her life. Great review!
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PeterRabitt20
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Post by PeterRabitt20 »

Kelyn wrote: 12 Oct 2021, 15:00 Keeping up with non-linear flow can be challenging reading. It sounds like the author did well in planting 'anchor points' for each transition. That would help lessen any confusion that might occur and make it less like flashbacks and more... flowing. I'm not sure how else to put that. Many sci-fi books use this effect, so I'm familiar with it. I might give this one a try. Thanks for the great review!
You said it very well. It's funny because the author actually apologizes for the confusion at some point. Thanks for reading the review.
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PeterRabitt20
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Post by PeterRabitt20 »

Rashawn Carter wrote: 14 Oct 2021, 16:02 I always find it admirable when a author has the courage to write about their real life experiences. It seems she has went through many hardships in her life. Great review!
Yes, I agree with you, especially in difficult ones. Thanks for stopping by. :D
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PeterRabitt20
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Post by PeterRabitt20 »

Ellylion wrote: 13 Oct 2021, 08:32 Sounds like a captivating memoir really worth trying :) Thank you for this insightful review!
You're very welcome and thank you for stopping by! :D
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PeterRabitt20
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Post by PeterRabitt20 »

Humera955 wrote: 12 Oct 2021, 21:37 I appreciate the author for sharing her life experience with the readers
Great review🍀
That is true. Thanks for stopping by. :D
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