Outskirts Press (2018)
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (11/18)
In “Suicide Affair,” author Tony Stanford provides a unique series of stories that give an in-depth look at individuals who have low self-esteem, and/or are looked down upon by society, yet all they want is to be accepted for who they are. It follows several individuals as they try to make sense of their life as others demean them because they live in a trailer park, aren’t as cool as others or live in a hopeless situation.
‘The Forsaken Queen’ was one that had an impact on me. The story revolves around Homer Pierce an angry, volatile man whose face is severely scarred from a fire, his wife Joanna who is prone to depression, affairs and having fun. Their young daughter Rita is neglected, receives emotional and verbal abuse from her father who feels she is a pain in his side. When Joanna storms out of the house after an argument Homer follows her, and suddenly she is dead. Rita is left alone to take on even more abuse and yet somewhere down the road, her father becomes somewhat sensitive to how she is feeling. I think that in his way, Homer tries to help his daughter, but he has so much hate for people and himself it is hard to make changes.
The other story that I enjoyed involved the ongoing dispute between Indian boys and the local white group, the Dragons. I thought the author did a great job in his narrative capturing the negative attitudes toward Indians from the local townspeople and the stereotypical thoughts regarding Indians as second-class citizens. As a person that has a full-blooded Cherokee grandfather, it brought back many stories of his years growing up on the wrong side of the tracks.
For many readers, these stories appear dark and dismal, but if one reads between the lines, it is really about acceptance and always having to prove oneself. The characters are well developed, and the storyline is intriguing and thought-provoking. I did have some difficulty getting into the stories in the beginning as there was no introduction as to what the author was trying to convey.
Overall it was an interesting read, and I recommend “Suicide Affair” by Tony Stanford, especially if one likes to discover the hidden information between the storylines.