About the author: Suzanne Field, a graduate of the University of Minnesota, has taught English as a Second Language in China, Ukraine, and Hawaii. She has also been a magazine editor and home-school teacher. She and her husband have five children and divide their time between Kansas and Hawaii where she is a tutor and mentor.
Learn more about Suzanne at:https://www.facebook.com/SuzanneFieldThePaintedTable
About the book: A beautiful heirloom ingrained with family memory has become a totem of a life Saffee would rather forget---a childhood disrupted by her mother's mental illness.
Saffee does not want the table. By the time she inherits the object of her mother's obsession, the surface is thick with haphazard layers of paint, and heavy with unsettling memories.
After a childhood spent watching her mother slide steadily into insanity, painting and re-painting the ancient table, Saffee has come to fear that seeds of psychosis may lie dormant within her. But as an adult with a family of her own, Saffee must confront her mother's torment if she wants to defend herself against it.
Traversing four generations over the course of a century, The Painted Table is an epic portrait of inherited memory, proclivity, and guilt. It is a sprawling narrative affirmation that a family artifact---like a family member---can bear the marks of one's entire past . . . as well as intimations of one's redemption.
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Every once in a while a book comes along that touches you emotionally in the deepest places of the heart...The Painted Table was one such story! Having worked in the mental health field for over ten years, I am all too familiar with the pain and heartache of family members watching and being affected by the mental and emotional illness of a loved one. Suzanne Field captures the family dynamics of living with someone who suffers from a mental illness vividly through Saffee's story.
Field expertly tells the story through the eyes of mother and daughter which adds such a depth to the story. There were many times that I read through tears in my eyes and a felt pain in my chest.
Field also captures the transformation and redemption, the restoration if you will, that only an encounter with God's grace and mercy can bring about in a life surrendered to Him.
Some of my favorite quotes (and there were many!):
"Your mother ain't happy unless she's mad about somethin'. Your life will be different...Again recollections bring a clarifying moment. Saffee considers that there are times in life when she will have to make things different, make things better. It will not just happen with a touch of some celestial wand. Change might involve struggle, might take time."
"Grace reads: 'Your wife'...that's Mommy Benji, she informs him...'shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house. Your children'...Grace expansively gestures toward her brothers...'And that's us'...like olive plants around your table. Psalm 128"This is one of those books YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS!
And you won't want to miss this amazing opportunity to connect with Suzanne Field: