"All of us had been damaged in some way by the people who were supposed to love and protect us from monsters, monsters that they'd brought into our lives." - Marra Dallas
Southern belle Charlotte Dunne is trapped in a violent relationship with the mobster boyfriend who had charmed his way into her heart and home, and now her daughter Marra finds herself making a split decision that will alter the course of her own life.
Running from her past, Marra begins a journey of self-discovery that takes her further south each time she becomes entangled with grief, whether through the pain of her own misfortune, or the loss of the people she loves. Reeling from a failed love affair on the Jersey shore, Marra escapes to the majesty of Charleston and stumbles upon John Lloyd Maybank, who is tied to her and her family in ways she could never have imagined.
Struggling with a destiny that seems to bring Marra nothing but heartache, she escapes to the warm waters and splendid sunsets on the Gulf of Mexico. At long last, Marra establishes a relationship with one sibling, but the other seems destined to remain an enigma in Marra's quest of that illusive connection.
The people she encounters along the way become keys to the mysteries of Marra's past, and comfort for the trials of her future. As Charlotte's long buried secrets and lies come to light, life's twists and turns unfold as Marra seeks her place in this world . . . and the next.
4C SUNDAY, Sept. 21, 2014 Lifestyle
'Marra Dallas’ Has Characters Who Are Hard to Forget
Sunday Book Nook Commentary
IF YOU READ
• WHAT: “Marra Dallas”
• BY: Marilyn Timpanaro
• GRADE: A
I love reading books that I can’t put down. I hate when I finish
them. That’s the way I felt reading “Marra Dallas,” a recently released book that starts with a murder by the 15-year-old heroine.
It kept me up two nights in a row and since I finished recently, several of the characters have popped into my head over the course of the next few days. I didn’t want to leave them behind. I wanted more.
As a writer myself, I know that creating such characters is the holy grail of story-telling. And I want to applaud this first-time
author, Marilyn Timpanaro, for creating a book that will likely appeal to those who enjoyed “The Fault in Our Stars.”
In the interest of selfdisclosure, I met Marilyn Timpanaro a couple of times more than 20 years ago, when she lived next door to a dear friend of mine who moved from Grand Island to
Lovely woman, certainly, but that didn’t mean I expected to enjoy her new book. I have so many clunkers come across my desk that I never expect a book to be good. When the book first came out a few months back, I downloaded a sample from the Kindle app onto my phone and read the first few pages. I thought they were expertly written. But I forgot to
go back to it until just the other day when I was looking for something to read. I bought the book and read it every chance
The story is about a young girl whose difficult life is made more challenging by a murder she commits in defense of
her mother. After spending time in juvenile detention for the crime, she changes her name to Marra Dallas and proceeds to recreate herself through the people she meets and the choices she makes.
The story is not about a murder; rather it’s about the course of a life and all the surprises it has to offer, including the living and dying that transpires and the potential of all in the ultimate bloom of acceptance, love and hope.
Faced with a life that continuously crumbles into pieces, Marra keeps moving forward, pulling the pieces back together
and learning more about herself with each step. Near the end of the book, which follows her to the age of 47, she writes “Some people live bravely and let the truth define them, while others hide behind their secrets and lies and tell themselves it’s for a good cause or a higher purpose. We can adjust the
truth to fit our fabricated outline or we can create our outline from the truth we’ve lived.”
The story takes place among memorable events woven through it, such as the Persian Gulf War in 1990, the “Storm of the Century” that struck the Clearwater area in March
1993 and even the fall of the twin towers Sept. 11, 2001.
But beyond that are the characters that come to life, including Dallas, who grows into a courageous and grateful woman; her
first love John Lloyd, a beautiful gay man who loves her unconditionally, and her second husband, Alex, a charming, kind and wise man whose playful spirit comes forthin Timpanaro’s spot-on recreation of his Hispanic accent, which reads easily and allows us to hear his voice and feel his funny
and loving nature.
I want to congratulate the author and say, “Bravo.” I’m hoping there’s more to comein the life of Marra Dallas.
Contact Michele DeLuca