To any authors/publishers/ tour companies that are looking for the reviews that I signed up for please know this is very hard to do. I will be stopping reviews temporarily. My husband passed away February 1st and my new normal is a bit scary right now and I am unable to concentrate on a book to do justice to the book and authors. I will still do spotlight posts if you wish it is just the reviews at this time. I apologize for this, but it isn't fair to you if I signed up to do a review and haven't been able to because I can't concentrate on any books. Thank you for your understanding during this difficult time. I appreciate all of you. Kathleen Kelly April 2nd 2024

07 September 2022

Exit Wounds by Annie O'Neill Stein Book Review!

Book Details

  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 202 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1579626599
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1579626594

Born to shanty Irish on one side and Park Avenue privilege on the other, Laura navigates a turbulent childhood filled with the alcohol-fueled abuse of her volatile father and her mother’s excessive drinking. As the middle child of three girls, she assigns herself the role of her mother's protector, who dies when Laura is thirteen, leaving her heartbroken and adrift.

Insecure, anxious, and fearful, she tries drugs, random sex, and a sequence of lovers. Along the way, she becomes a successful painter and has a bad first marriage. Nothing, however, seems to assuage her emptiness and her sense of loss. Eventually, she marries a caring man and has a loving daughter. It is only at the end of her life, and by way of an unusual and unexpected turn of events that she is finally able to make peace with herself, to let go of the feeling that she never really grieved, and said goodbye to her beloved mother, and to appreciate that though we work at love and acceptance, sometimes the most wonderful experiences in our lives come in unanticipated and unsought ways.

Anne O'Neill has an engaging voice, quirky, funny, and full of original observations and expressions, as she adroitly explores the mysteries of the human heart. She is also a retired actress.

Annie O’Neill Stein has spent the past ten years writing her debut novel, "Exit Wounds". Her family and publisher hope that her artistic legacy lives on through this book. Her husband, Jeffrey, says, “Sadly, after years of work writing 'Exit Wounds', Annie passed away just weeks before the publication she so looked forward to. The book is a testament to the talent and tenacity she displayed in producing this work.”

My Thoughts

Exit Wounds by Annie O'Neill Stein is the story of Laura, the middle child of parents from the opposites of life, the father of shanty Irish and the mother of Park Avenue lifestyle. 

At a young age, where the story starts, has her as her father's little shadow, going with him to the favorite pub. She is the middle child of three girls. Their father has a propensity for "drink" and is often violent. In one of his rages, the girls see their father strike their mother. That puts an end to her going with her father to the pub. She now hates him.

Her mother also has a drinking problem, but an illness is at the root cause of this. In the '50s and '60s, drinking is a secret problem, never to be spoken about. But her mother because of her illness does a lot of stumbling and slurring words. Laura and her sister just thought that it was a part of the drinking.

Her mother dies when she is thirteen, which leaves Laura lonely and adrift. As she gets older, she tries out drugs and drinking to drown out he insecurities. It does not work. She married young, first marriage, and moves to California where she gets involved in the art world there. Her marriage does not work out but she ultimately meets a kind man, they marry and have a daughter.

The story continues for Laura until she is in her 60s and till the end of her life from an illness that she coped with for a long time. She finds that as time goes on she is able to cope and reconcile with her thoughts and feelings about her parents. Bring closure to a lifetime of angst. She was finally able to deal with her grief and loss.

I will read just about anything that has Irish in it. I enjoyed this story, read it in one sitting. It brought forth some of the things in my childhood that were not always the best. I have overcome these things and I was pleased to see that Laura did also.

I read this book in one sitting I loved it, and I give it 5 stars!
I received a copy of the book for review purposes only!

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