Tuesday, April 29, 2014

5 Star review for Comfort of Fences by Stacy Overman Morrison. Guest Post: How is your interaction with women, especially those closest to you?

Guest Post with Stacy Overman Morrison.

How is your interaction with women, especially those closest to you?

          I am writing this right before I head out the door to lunch with a dear friend of mine. I had lunch Monday with another dear friend and then lunch yesterday with my 19 year old daughter. I do a lot of eating so as long as my female friends like to eat, we get along great! 
          In all honesty, I have many dear female friends. I have been very selective in maintaining these friendships and cultivate those that bring mutual joy and growth. In my book, Comfort of Fences, two of the characters enjoy a life-long friendship. The relationship between Ruth and Georgia is one of which I am a bit envious. I always wanted a friend like Georgia so I made her up!          I do not have one best friend but I do have a core group of women friends and we all work to support and cheer one another on. I have one friend that I sit and discuss our spiritual paths and how our journeys into our better selves are going. We have our own table at the local Mexican food restaurant because once we get to talking, we are usually there for a couple of hours. I have another friend that is so very thoughtful. She checks in and makes sure my travels go safely and inquires about my health and wellbeing. She also has bought a case of my books and has canvassed West Texas with Comfort of Fences. My 19 year old daughter is probably my best friend of all. We are moving more into the realm of friends rather than parent/child these days. Luckily, she is a great person so I don’t have to do much lecturing and rule setting. She “gets” things, so I get to enjoy her!          There are times I get bitchy, or feisty as my husband calls it, but largely those times are the result of life frustrations and as quickly as I flare, I settle down again. I love the time I spend with my friends so much, and truthfully don’t get to do it enough, that I don’t have negative encounters with them. My female friends bring me joy. They bring me peace. They bring me acceptance. I accept this all, work to magnify it, and then give it back to my soul friends in as great or greater measures than they gave to me.
          Yes, I am a blessed woman and many of my greatest blessings are my friendships with my soul sister friends!

About the book

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.

About this author

Every life is a story and every perspective is a revelation. I've been telling stories and gleaning insights from everyday encounters all my life. I talk with the people in line with me at the grocery store and they reveal their hopes and fears. I visit with the insurance claim adjuster who just moved to Oregon and was flooded in her new house a week after moving. I read posts on Facebook and create sub-plots on how we each get to where we are in life. I believe we are all connected and my calling as a storyteller to to pick at the threads and re-weave them until that connectivity is obvious and worthy of a reader's emotional investment.
I live in Texas with my husband, two daughters, two dogs and two horses. I have a Clydesdale-sized hole in my heart as my sweet Connie crossed the Rainbow Bridge 3-3-13. I love people, sunsets, words, and philanthropy. I love hearing from my readers and welcome correspondence.
Stacy Overman Morrison

5 Star Review

I received this book from the touring host for an honest review.

A remarkable story of mother and daughter relationship that stretched over fifty-two years; written with sympathy and thoughtfulness as the author delved into the heart of the story and its characters; giving us a beautiful book to enjoy.
But it’s also a story about friends that stayed with each other through thick and thin; a friendship that gave them the comfort of not being alone; giving direction in the most difficult of situations.

I really love the name of the book, it highlights the everyday minute things, making it real and how we find comfort within those fences we choose to live in.

Although written from two protagonists view points, we cannot leave the importance of Georgia and her relationship with both Ruth and Denise out. That would leave a huge gap in the story; her part was the anchor that kept them both afloat, and in her uncanny way with a few margaritas tossed in; she played a vital roll within this trio.

All three women were strong in their own right; with their own believes, had flaws as well (we women never said we are perfect J); but yet you see how they accommodate each other in their own special way; each person’s part important to the unique relationship; making room for each other so that each individual could shine in their own situation as they tried to help Ruth during the last leg of her life.
Denise the caregiver; no task was to hard for her and her devotion to her mother could be seen throughout the book.

We are taken back and forth to the present and the past as Ruth told her story to her daughter, Denise in a novel form. Denise had questions and because of her slowness never asked the questions just hovering in her mind and Ruth felt compelled that part of her daughter’s independence was to enlighten her about her past. Denise grew up with challenges all of her own, or in Ruth’s words Denise was ‘retarded’ and because of this Ruth protected her fiercely which left Denise innocent and ignorant in many ways; although at the end this was not the case.

Ruth was dying of cancer and felt the need to tell her fifty-two year old daughter her story and how she came to life, the circumstances surrounding her birth that caused her to be ‘slow’. She also had to prepare her for her death and the ‘forced’ independence that would follow. For all her years Ruth protected Denise from the harsh realities of the world and the task to prepare her came almost too late.

When Ruth was faced with her own mortality she had to face her life, the mistakes she had made and equipping her daughter to be self sufficient in a very short amount of time.

Georgia played a huge roll within this and her character brought the balance so that mother and daughter could find peace in the final stages of their life together. Georgia’s witty character and straight forwardness gives us a good idea of the relationships and the affects it had on them.

It is a heart warming story filled with human emotions and conflicts, written with compassion as these characters came to life on the pages and the influence each had on the other. The choices they faced and the secrets they kept from each other.  We learn more about Ruth and the steps that she had taken as she wrote the story and you had a better understanding of the time she lived in, her circumstances and the decisions she had made and you couldn’t help but find empathy for her and the situation she was in. Taken from her home at the age of eighteen, Ruth found herself all alone in a big man’s world with a sudden thrust of grown up choices she was not prepared for and in these choices she had to live with the results, knowing that she did the best.

We learned how mother and daughter’s relationship stayed strong and how they each made their own choices at the end, compromising and yielding to the love they shared. A wonderful story that will stir the heartstrings, knowing that we are here on this earth to do the best we can, to live with the consequences without judgment from anyone else.


  1. Thank you for this thorough and heartfelt review. I am honored that you connected with these characters. I wish you comfort and peace!

    1. Wish you all the best Stacy, thanks for the opportunity.

  2. Thanks for taking part in the tour and hosting Stacy. I'm so glad you loved 'Comfort of Fences'!

    1. As always it is a great pleasure Teddy.