Serenity Rupert, a former foster child, is struggling to keep it together with no money and a life in shambles.
With no family to turn to, she’s desperate to find a job to pay rent. When things seem to be their bleakest, William, a kind and charming stranger appears and helps her find employment.
With her life back on track, Serenity ventures to reconnect with her estranged family and discovers William’s arrival in her life may not have been as unexpected as it seemed.
Is William the key to Serenity making peace with her past or does he have ulterior motives?
Leaving The Pieces Behind, by R. M. Demeester, is an intriguing read. We are alerted by the blurb that things may not be as they appear on the surface. The prologue is useful in setting the scene. Abject poverty, hopelessness, a tired single mother in poor health, and three children, including our protagonist, Serenity Rupert, are introduced to us. Serenity is the oldest sibling, her sister is Harmony (a misnomer) and her brother is Dayton. Why Dayton? It strikes me as the kind of name a poor person would give their child because it is the kind of name they think that rich people would give their child.
As the story continues, Serenity, now a young adult, has lost her job working at a bakery. She has recently bailed her brother, Dayton, out of jail. As a result of this, she is not going to be able to pay her rent, which is due on Friday. So, here’s what happens next:
“I leaned against the wall by the window, at just the right angle that enabled me to steal my neighbor’s Wi-Fi signal. I couldn’t afford my portion of the internet bill, and so my roomies had changed the password on me. After I got my signal, I scrolled through the job listings which didn’t require years of experience. I stopped at one: Local Business, Cashier Wanted. I could do that. Thirty hours a week, eight-fifty an hour. I did the math in my head. It was more than I would make with unemployment.”
Author R. M. Demeester obviously believes that the most important thing is to tell the story. Demeester allows the reader access to the thoughts, emotions, spoken words, and deeds of Serenity as the story goes forward. It is a dialogue-driven, fast-moving, narrative technique that keeps you turning the pages quickly.
We are not given superfluous information, no imagery techniques, not even time or place. Having said that, just in case this information about time and place (setting) is important to you, the author provides enough clues and contextual information for an active reader to establish a time line to match the story to historical and cultural reality.
The absence of explicit time and place means that everything is happening fast in this story. As a result, we have no other option but to experience the story through the eyes of Serenity. Serenity takes the reader by the heart and guides us through the story of her life. We become both complicit with her and confidant for her. She is us (the reader) and we are her (Serenity).
So, I turned page after page, with only one thought in mind, namely the ultimate happiness of Serenity. She definitely deserves to be happy, to have a happy ending, considering the misfortunes she has had to deal with all her life.
So, we actively become complicit with her, all the while hoping she will overcome the obstacles she must face to understand her past. All of this impacts on her present life, and makes her future either a possibility, or an impossibility. Again, this is a very unique, intriguing tale.
★★★★★ I recommend this book highly ★★★★★
It is for teens, young adults, and adults from age eight (8) to eighty (80).
This is a story about how the circumstances of your birth can determine your entire life story. It encourages young people to be resilient, to rebel against hopelessness, to take whatever comes your way in life, the good, the bad, and the ugly, but-above all- to never give up your right to dream big dreams and to fight to make your dreams a reality…
— R.M. Demeester (@rmdemeester) February 24, 2019