Comfort of Fences by Stacy Overman Morrison (Review by Tina – #NerdGirlMama)


Title: Comfort of Fences

Author: Stacy Overman Morrison

Published Date:

Genre: Women’s Fiction / Family


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 Ruth is dying and her 52 year old daughter Denise has never paid a bill, lived on her own, or had a romantic relationship. Ruth knows she has been overprotective, but hoped that she would outlive her special-needs daughter. Metastasized cancer crushes that hope and forces Ruth to find a way to provide for Denise once she is dead. First Ruth turns to Social Security for Disability benefits. After tests, pokes and prods, doctors, nosy psychologists, and ill-furnished waiting rooms, the government declares Denise not eligible for benefits. Mad at the world and daring the government to arrest her so they will have to take care of her since they wouldn’t her daughter, Ruth takes up smoking pot in the backyard. A few joints in, Ruth begins to realize her anger is self-directed. She doubts every decision she has ever made in raising her daughter that doctors, in the 1950s, labeled “retarded.” Partially to coax her mother from the backyard and partially because Ruth will not speak of the past, Denise asks her mother to write down their history of which Denise has no memory. Trying to atone and explain how she could be so obtuse, Ruth agrees. Telling her story becomes an obsession for Ruth who sees the history as her only chance to leave a place for herself in the world since cancer is steadily eating away her physicality. While Ruth writes, Denise begins to pursue her own independence, despite the minor setbacks of a chopped off fingertip and chemo poisoning. She begins to make choices for herself and finally tells her mother pieces of her own truth: Denise stayed with her mother because she chose to; because she loved her mother more than any life she could make for herself. In claiming her own truth, Denise also chooses silence about the biggest secrets of all. Comfort of Fences explores the messy business of mothering. It is a story about the love between a devoted mother and her special daughter that exposes the irony that the people we love the most can also be the ones we underestimate the greatest.

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***Tina #NerdGirlMama’s Review***

Comfort of Fences is a heart-wrenching story that encompasses a myriad of emotions that will have you riding that emotional roller coaster.  The Author’s writing style is unique in that you will go from present to past and back again without skipping a beat and you will also enjoy the different POV’s this is also written in.  It works and even though the beginning starts out slow, just keep reading and you will be sucked in and with such ease of writing you will be able to picture what is happening as the words flow off the pages.

The 3 main Characters Ruth the mother, who has cancer again and will not be able to outlive it this time around, and how she needs to prepare her daughter to be self sufficient before she dies.  Denise the 52 year old daughter who has been sheltered her whole life due to her special needs and now has to learn to take care of herself, and Georgia the best friend of Ruth and how she plays a big part in both their lives.  These are very strong women in their own ways.
One thing to remember as you look at the synopsis and that is; this is not another book about cancer, this is a story about life and the choice that were made, right or wrong they were made and how now they must deal with those decisions made so long ago and overcome them.  Remember Cancer is not the story but the catalyst that invokes the story.

A well written book that should not be passed over and I give it the max of 5 starts.  I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good heart-wrenching story or any woman who loves to read.

***Review has been done in conjunction with Nerd Girl Official. For more information regarding our reviews please visit our Fan Site:***


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