Monday, May 27, 2013

The Beatles Last Album Molded Around Family Saga by Chad Gayle... "Awesome!"

..."But for now, now that the song is ending, it's enough to nurture what she has,
the memories that will always be hers.
"It's enough to let it be."

Let It Be
Chad Gayle

Even if this novel is not based somewhat on an actual family, readers will feel that it is... Primarily written by the mother, although both the daughter and son take over as well. For instance the daughter opens the novel with a...simple?...fact...
"When my brother was ten years old, he almost killed a man..."
 It is never easy to decide to proceed with a divorce, even if you have an abusive husband. Most times it's about the children and how it will affect them.

It was no different for Michelle when she filed for divorce and moved to a home near her brother. 

It was the year that The Beatles' last album came out. Michelle had fallen in love with their music, even though she could only afford that one album, which she played all the time...

But when her husband lost his job, he pawned many of Michelle's personal belongings, including that album...

"One After 909" reminded me of their situation since Bill was the type of abuser that could be very nice, apologize, ask forgiveness, be much more involved...and then would go back to his old habits. Michelle had left one other time, but had not taken the kids. Bill told Joseph that this was just like the other time, that Michelle would come back to him and they would be together again...

"There's a track on Let It Be called "One After 909," a groovy tune about a guy who's trying to get with a girl that's on a train he can't seem to catch. To a thirteen-year-old girl like me, it seemed like a cool number, even though it was old news, and I had fun with it whenever it was on; I thought it was a great song. Joseph hated it, however; for my little brother, "One after 909" was a meaningless, worthless lyric that wasn't about anything, that was nothing but a ruse, and he was willing to argue this point for hours, which should tell you something about my brother. He was a smart kid, but he was a smart kid who could be ruthlessly stubborn when he was convinced that he was right and that someone else was wrong...

And that is part of the reason he got into big trouble...

"Get back, you stupid turd!" she shouts.
"I call Joseph's name and he stomps into my room, muttering to himself.
"What happened?"
"He shoves his hands in his pockets. "Pam kicked me."
"Why did she do that?"
"Because I pushed her..."
"Bill used to spank them whenever there was any punching or kicking, regardless of who punched or kicked first. That always bothered me, but I couldn't say anything about it; if I did, he told me that I didn't know how to discipline the kids..."

Joseph was very interested in all things related to astronomy, as well as art. His mother would take him to the library to get him the adult books that he would study and then draw...But he loved his father and he wanted the family to stay together, or, if it didn't, his father talked to him about living with him... He talked to him many times, asking questions to keep up with the family events...and more...He was also calling Michelle at work for which she'd gotten in trouble. Her boss was quite demonstrative in explaining how to just hang up whenever he

 "Now, I realize that some of the women who work here are going to go to the powder room every fifteen minutes, but I can allow that. And I can excuse some of the others for spending half an hour of each and every morning gossiping like a lot of chickens in a henhouse...But what I cannot abide, what I will not stand for, are women who make personal calls from this building while the salesmen up are doing their damnedest to make the sales that pay your wages. The first tear rolls down my cheek... "My husband, sir. My ex-husband." I try holding my breath, but it doesn't help; I hate myself for letting this happen, for crying like a child...I've asked him to stop calling me. I tell him every time, Mr. Maxwell...
"So it's his fault? Is that what you're saying?"  Of course it's his fault. I want to get up on the desk and say this over and over again, proclaiming it to the world, but I only shake my head...

Home wasn't any better because Michelle had to leave Pam in charge after school and when she had to leave for a short time. Joseph was getting upset, especially when Pam made a friend and spent more time with her. But then when Bill was due to pick them up, it really started and before long Bill had punched Michelle in the stomach...and more...

"Then I hear Bill's voice behind me, and I turn around as he comes through the gate.
"I've had it with you, you crazy bitch."
"He punches me in the stomach, hard, and I fall. I watch him stretch over me as he blots out the sky. I can't see his hands, but he's pressing down on me, and he has me pinned to the ground. He's crushing me, and I grab at the earth, but all I can find is mud that I dig through with frantic fingers. I reach out for the face that I hate, smearing wet silt over his nose, his round cheeks, and this his hands are at my throat, squeezing my throat so hard that I have to cough but can't."
"The outline of his face begins to blur..."
While, at the same time, Michelle had started dating Dan...who was the sales manager where she worked...

But Bill had quite a different plan for Michelle...and he was quite willing to involved his son...

The totally surprising ending of this novel is one that could not easily be projected. The first page gave us a hint, but I never picked up on what that could mean. And in the end, Michelle could only say...Let It Be...

Beatles Fans? A must-read recommendation! For me, there were a number of these songs I had never heard. I was able to totally get into the book and, only later, added the music. So don't worry if you, too, don't recognize the song/chapter headings. The mother's love of the music is an integral part, but the story line will have totally pulled readers in so that those who don't know the music will not miss understanding the novel. Still, I hope that including the vids will help you enjoy this extraordinary story of a family who more... all wrapped up in music...


About this author

Chad Gayle is a photographer and writer who has written for literary journals, trade publications, 
and newspapers. Previously, Chad worked for Poetry Magazine in Chicago and taught English 
at several colleges including Texas A&M University. 

Born in Texas, Chad lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and two children; Let It Be is his debut novel.
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