Author Guest Post Day: LEAVING THE HALL LIGHT ON, by Madeline Sharples
Leaving the Hall Light On by Madeline Sharples
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This memoir pins you down and never lets go. There wasn't one moment where I wasn't thinking about Madeline's heartbreak, and Paul's suffering, and anticipating the time I could sit down and read it again in peace. You want to immerse yourself in total silence while reading this extraordinarily powerful story. I'm not sure why I felt this way. Perhaps it was a subconscious act of respect. Perhaps I felt as if Madeline, Paul, Bob and Ben, needed my undivided attention. Actually, I think that is the reason. It was as if I wasn't even reading, but watching the story unfold right before my very eyes. Who wants background noise when someone is pouring their heart out to you? I certainly don't.
I cried. Three times, in fact. The first time straight after the very first paragraph. The second time during one of Bob's (Madeline's husband) journal entries describing the scene of finding their son, Paul, dead, in a pool of blood, in their bath, throat and wrists slit. And the third time after reading a poem called "A Stone Called Son".
I don't think I can justifiably describe how I'm feeling about this book. Tears are welling up in my eyes as I'm writing this, trying to figure out how to express myself. My gosh, I'm a writer and I can't find the words to tell you how much I wish every single person on this planet would read this book.
Reasons to read this, off the top of my head:
- Because it will teach you not to judge.
- Because it will teach you how to behave around people who are grieving.
- Because sometimes you need a reality check.
- Because Madeline has written a book about one of the most difficult experiences in her life and it should be rewarded.
- Because you want to. Believe me, you do. No matter how heartbreaking the content, you want to read it. You will become a better person afterward.
I tip my hat off to you, Madeline. You are a survivor. You are an inspiration. You make me proud to be a woman.
What books have you read recently that have made you feel proud to be who you are?