Oconomowoc, WI -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/06/2014 -- More than a decade of reflections and observations from a mother rearing boys on her own has been shaped into a cathartic new memoir, detailing the ups and downs of a family cast to the winds by abandonment and bad fortune.
Written by Jonna Clark Aprahamian, The Rubber Knife Gang shines the spotlight on issues that many families will relate to, including the loss of an infant to SIDS, and the development of mental illness in the oldest of four boys.
As the author says, the book was not simply a therapeutic and emotional way of setting the record straight: “Families, and especially kids, often feel like they are alone in their struggles, or that their particular deficits or plights are singularities. Hopefully the book will let them know they are not alone.”
‘The Rubber Knife Gang’ is a funny, caustic, heart-wrenching series of essays written by a mother raising three boys in the wake of their father’s stunning decline. Amidst the maelstrom of his abuse, alcoholism, mental illness and abandonment, she writes of their plight with humor and pathos, as she charts their struggles and triumphs as they attempt to enter manhood without a map or compass.
Comprised of 22 essays that vary in topic, substance and weight, each is an integral piece of a larger tale of a family left holding the bag on the crumbling American dream in the last days of the decade. Lying beneath the material loss, is the gaping wound that is fatherlessness. As the author becomes ever more aware of the deficit in her children’s lives, she does her best to make sense of what is means to be male, and then what masculine goodness entails.
Reception to the “tell-all” style of the memoir has been praised by many as refreshing and real, while members of the actual Rubber Knife Gang, namely Aprahamian’s sons, has been mixed. “We’re all proud of her,” said oldest son Ben, 27, “but I told her, ‘Mom, you can’t go around hyping your own crap. Lots of people have great and exciting lives and they don’t go writing about it.”
Thankfully, reception from others has been a bit more encouraging.
“I laughed, I cried, I felt things I probably shouldn’t have,” said Denise Ryan, President and CEO of Ryan+Forest.Hayes. “All joking aside, Jonna is an incredibly talented writer, with the ability to capture vivid and compelling moments and weave them into memorable vignettes that not only entertain, but tell a story.”
Ning Wiebmer was equally impressed, saying: “This is a terrific book -- witty and compelling. You'll want to keep going ... the stories just keep getting better. Highly recommended.”
The Rubber Knife Gang is available now on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Smashword and other sellers of ebooks.
About the Author: Jonna Clark
Jonna Clark has more than 30 years of experience as a writer, reporter and public relations professional. Most recently, she wrote for Journal Communications as a reporter from 2004 to 2006, followed by work as a legislative aide for a state representative from 2006 to 2008. She implicitly understands how ideas can become stories, laws and eventually movements that can change the world. In 2006, she left the Wisconsin State Legislature to work fulltime on her book, The Rubber Knife Gang. Jonna is a published author and the mother of three young men.