The Kirkus Review is in!

The Kirkus Review. I'm so grateful for a good review! Love.  "

Kirkus Reviews

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NARROW RIVER, WIDE SKY 
A Memoir
Author: Jenny Forrester

Review Issue Date: March 1, 2017
Online Publish Date: February 21, 2017
Publisher:Hawthorne Books
Pages: 236
Price ( Paperback ): $18.95
Publication Date: May 16, 2017
ISBN ( Paperback ): 978-0-9970683-5-1
Category: Nonfiction


The landscape and culture of west Colorado are vividly evoked in an accomplished literary debut."How do we settle with ghosts?" Forrester asks in her finely etched memoir, which begins when she and her brother try to decide on their mother's burial site. "Where do we bury our mothers when there is nowhere we belong?" The author grew up poor: her family lived in a double-wide trailer after their father's "all-time best construction business" failed; and then, after her parents divorced, in a single-wide trailer in the small town of Mancos. Narrow-minded churchgoers pitied her mother and the two children as a broken family. Forrester was bullied at school, where bored students "learned through textbooks, rote memorization, and discipline with strict rules, straight lines, the Pledge of Allegiance, moral certainty, no discussions, no show and tell." Moral certainty was widespread in a town peopled by assorted religious fundamentalists and strident patriots. Mancos seemed like a place from which Forrester never would escape. In high school, she was promiscuous, ending up with Paul, as bigoted and controlling as her father had been. As a scholarship student at the University of Colorado, she faced "uncharted social terrain." She struggled academically, felt alienated from the school's sorority culture, gained unwanted weight, and discovered that she was pregnant. She had an abortion without anesthesia because she could not afford it. Much of the memoir focuses on Forrester's mother, struggling to support her children, navigating her own uncharted terrain as she trained to become an ESL teacher, and finally showing her daughter the understanding and support that she desperately needed. Throughout, the author reflects on the culture that shaped and, in many ways, oppressed her: "an American flag waving from the bracket by the trailer door and ranchers and Mormons and Masons and a Christianity based in western pioneer mythology and guns under the bed." A modest, thoughtful memoir that traces hard-won liberation from the past.

PomPom Lit

So grateful to be published in a new Lit Journal. Love to PomPom Lit!  

"My socially conscious programming said Don’t call the cops. He left behind a knife – a hunting knife, fake bone hunting knife handle, fake hunting knife swirls on the sharp-enough metal, fake Celtic symbolism, but the sharp point and bloodying hunting knife edge are real."

Interview, The Authenticity Experiment

Kate Carroll De Gutes, Oregon Book Award/Lambda Literary Winner for the book "Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than they Appear" has created The Authenticity Experiment. She interviewed me, and my answer to authenticity/being authentic had to do with navigating my sensitivity.

 

Please sign up for Kate's newsletter (click the FOLLOW button) - you'll be super glad you did. There are all kinds of beautiful authenticity experiments going on in this world.

 

“You’d cry if I looked at you cross-eyed,” [my mother] said. “You still cry about every little thing.” I heard the words “Sensitive” and “Oversensitive” often – when we hung the deer to bleed in the barn, and I cried, when we plucked the chickens, and I cried, and when anyone said “I was only kidding” and when anyone called me a “city girl.” My sensitivities covered issues animal cruelty and childhood bullying injustices. I saw injustice everywhere and cried over it."

Read the rest here.

 

Kate's web page is here: http://katecarrolldegutes.com/. Give her love!

Book Signatures

The publisher had a party with some amazing Portland women in publishing. I got a real copy of my book. There's a limited number of them in the world (galleys for book sellers and review copies for reviewers). So, this one I got to keep is so precious. I have this idea that everyone else will sign my book. Here are the first signatures. I feel so fortunate.