GRAND RIVER HIGHWAY
One Woman’s Journey to Autonomy
By Elizabeth Fackler-Sinkóvitz
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Bette Stoll has to intuit her own way. Born a middle child in a troubled family, neglected and lonely after the death of her grandmother when she is only seven, she takes comfort riding her horse alone in the virgin woods on her father’s Michigan farm. When in 1957 his mental breakdown transplants the family to Southern California, they join a national migration West. Bette, a naďve farm girl, is dropped at the onset of adolescence into the wild circus of the psychedelic Sixties. Her love affair with the runaway scion of a wealthy Mexican family leads her into a labyrinth of tragedy she struggles to escape. Through all her back roads and detours, Bette stays honed on her path of becoming a writer.
This is the chronicle of Bette’s perceptions of what happened and how her perceptions shaped her. This is the truth as she experienced it. No doubt these events will be remembered differently by others. This is not their story.
This is Bette’s story, and I am Bette. So difficult were some memories, I could approach them only by assuming the guise of a third-person narrator. More courageously, I may have written an autobiography wherein witnesses would be interviewed and facts verified. Because it is mined from my memories, I call this a memoir. The journals I have kept since adolescence helped reconstruct the happenings and refresh the ambiance, but no event is invented.
It has taken me twice the number of decades recorded in this chronicle to believe my formative experiences may have significance for others. At the same time, I am glad to have finally recorded Roberto’s story. We are all mere specks flashing in a vast cosmos. What you hold in your hands is the culmination of my life’s spark.
Praise for Elizabeth Fackler’s Work:
“Fackler’s elegant prose is a pleasure to read.” —Booklist
“Fackler has a keen sense for dialogue and period, and a classic, clipped prose style.” —Publisher’s Weekly
“Elizabeth Fackler has a unique approach to storytelling and speaks in a voice all her own. Equally exceptional in both crime and historical fiction, she makes familiar elements startling and new through the dazzle of her prose and the humanity of her forgiving gaze.” —Ed Gorman, Award-winning Author
“With echoes of James M. Cain, Fackler is gutsy.” —Kirkus Reviews
“She makes the legend live!” —Elmer Kelton
“She writes with a perfect honesty that makes everything real.” —Richard Wheeler, Award-winning Author
“Her dialogue is right on the mark, her descriptive passages lyrical.” —Southwest Bookviews
“A fine writer.” —The New York Times
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