Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Sky Isn't Visible From Here - Felicia C. Sullivan

Title: The Sky Isn't Visible from Here
Author: Felicia C. Sullivan
Country: USA
Year: 2008
Rating: 4 out of 5
First sentence: In the spring of 1997, a few weeks before my college graduation, my mother disappeared.

The Sky Isn't Visible From Here is a mixture of stories from Felicia's childhood and adult life, interwoven together in a series of vignettes. We follow Felicia through her memories of living with her mother's addiction and emotional abuse, her escape to college, and her own struggles with addiction. Felicia's memories of childhood provide the reader with a glimpse into what drove her to addiction, and how she made it on the path to recovery from alcohol and cocaine abuse.

Felicia does not take the easy way out by blaming her mother for all of her problems in life, although she has more than enough reason to do so. Pages are laced with the pain and angst caused by her mother, which is heart-breaking to read:

"I could faint and no one would catch me. The fall would be bottomless, never-ending, and my mother will always be there, pushing me further down." (pg. 182)

With all this ammunition, Felicia could easily take a narcissistic view point prevalent in many other memoirs of this genre. Fortunately, she does not. Instead, the reader is given a realistic glimpse into a relationship between a mother and daughter.

Yes, this is a book about overcoming addiction. But even more so, Felicia's story highlights the importance and impact of a parent's role in their child's life. As a new mother to a two-month old daughter, her book provides a powerful, emotive reminder of just how much my actions, and my relationship with my husband, will influence her as she grows and develops.

I'd like to share this poignant memoir with other readers, so I will be posting it on my Paperback Swap bookshelf. If you have a PBS account (if you don't, you should create one!), and are interested in reading this book, go check it out!


felicia sullivan said...


Thank you so much for the very wonderful, insightful and thoughtful review - my heart is warmed by your words.

I think you nailed so much of what I wanted to convey in writing this book - that while I had a very difficult upbringing, I as an adult am completely responsible for my options, and it was so necessary for me to ensure that readers had sympathy for my mother because she was once this amazing person. That's what made our breakup so heartbreaking.

Thanks again!
Warmly, Felicia

Nyssaneala said...

felicia - Thanks for visiting! I'm so happy to hear you liked my review.

Literary Feline said...

Perfect timing! I just saw mention of this book and was wondering what it was about and if it would be any good. The cover intrigues me. And now so does the content.

Thank you for the great review. I will definitely be adding this one to my wish list.

Nyssaneala said...

wendy - If you're a member of PBS, I just posted it on my bookshelf there.

Teddy Rose said...

Excellent review! You have peaked my interest with this book, so on to my TBR it goes.