Author Guest Post
Building A Resilient Character
Maya Sommers, the main character in my novel Hungry Mother Creek, is forced to deal with the trauma of Hurricane Katrina. She survives the initial physical danger but struggles to overcome the emotional impact of the hurricane and her husband’s death. She initially distracts herself with work and running and avoids talking about what has happened. Maya tries to convince her sister Laura that she is fine, but her panic attacks and obsessive thoughts about the past are evidence of her continued internal conflict.
As Hungry Mother Creek continues Maya becomes more resilient and begins to heal emotionally. She learns from her new relationships in Oriental N.C that talking about her deepest feelings and relying on others are crucial to recovering from her tragedy. She also begins to explore her spirituality to help make sense of the death and destruction she has witnessed. Maya is stuck when she avoids the past with distraction and denial. She begins to move forward with her life when she actively addresses her emotions and experiences related to Katrina and her husband’s death.
Research has shown that people who take action in the face of tragedy are more resilient and bounce back more quickly. Resilient people tend to have a good social support system and are good communicators. They are optimistic, persistent and determined, empathic and have a life purpose which motivates them to preserver. Having a strong spiritual life also contributes to resilience by helping make sense of the tragedy. Now that Maya has increased her resilience, she will cope more effectively when faced with future challenges.
What is your level of resilience? How would you fare if faced with tragedy similar to what Maya experienced? Building resilience takes a balanced approach, a combination of active engagement and solitary reenergizing. The following tips can help you increase your resilience:
• Let yourself experience strong emotions but realize when you may need to avoid them to continue functioning.
• Step forward and take action to deal with your problems but also step back when needed, to rest and recover.
• Spend time with loved ones to gain support and encouragement but also spend time alone to nurture yourself.
• Cultivate supportive relationships, self esteem, spirituality and optimism.
• Look for ways to help others in the midst of your own difficulties.
• Take care of yourself physically with regular exercise, a healthy diet, adequate sleep.
We all will face our own Hurricane Katrina’s, perhaps multiple times, so as we age it’s important to build resilience. This will allow us to rebound more quickly after a tragedy and be strong enough to help others through their pain and grief. In the midst of tragedy and challenge is the opportunity to reap new wisdom, skills and strength. The more resilient we are the more quickly we can identify the good that comes from a crisis and begin applying it to our life. Eventually Maya would have increased her resilience, but the hurricane and her husband’s death provided a strong outside force which imparted these lessons more quickly.
“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”
About The Author
Hungry Mother Creek by Heather W. Cobham
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing / Star Online Publishers
Publication Date: March 9, 2014
Format: Paperback - 385 pages
Kindle - 799 KB
Genre: Contemporary Women's Fiction
BUY THE BOOK: Hungry Mother Creek
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.
In her new home by the water, Maya begins to rebuild her life. She knows she needs to heal from her abusive marriage and the trauma of Hurricane Katrina but isn’t sure where to start. It isn’t long before teachers appear to help her: Hazel, her elderly but spirited neighbor who has secrets of her own, Travis, a handsome kayak guide to whom she immediately feels a strong attraction, Buster, a crusty old fisherman who always seems to show up just when she needs him, and Bay Witherspoon, the much younger wife of a wealthy attorney who becomes a close friend despite their initial differences. Maya finds the most profound help when she is welcomed into a women’s circle that meets on the banks of Hungry Mother Creek. Gathered with these women, Maya learns that becoming vulnerable and sharing her pain with others is the first step of her healing journey.
But what is the second step? Maya isn’t sure but with the help of her loyal yellow lab, her new friends and the peace of living by the water she stays the course. Ultimately Maya finds the healing journey to be messy, tangled and unpredictable, and the end result is nothing she could have ever imagined.
My Book Review:
In her debut novel, Hungry Mother Creek, author Heather W. Cobham weaves an emotional and inspirational tale that follows Maya Somer's journey of personal healing, and the rebuilding of her life after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
Set in the picturesque coastal village of Oriental, North Carolina, the reader is easily drawn into Maya's emotional story as she struggles to come to terms with her abusive marriage, the death of her husband, and the rebuilding her life. Settling in the quaint little fishing village with her yellow Lab, Doodle Bug, Maya embarks on a personal journey of renewal with the help of a supportive group of people she meets. It is a journey that is an inspirational testament to the strength of the human spirit to survive, heal, and thrive after a traumatic experience.
Hungry Mother Creek is a beautifully written and emotionally compelling tale that pulls at the heartstrings and stirs the soul. The story delves into the difficult issue of abusive marriages, traumatic life experiences, loss and grief, new beginnings, and the renewal of a person's life through a strong bond of friendship relationships. The reader can't help but establish a connection with Maya and feel empathetic as her story unfolds, it invokes a gamut of emotions that will resonate long after the last sentence has been read.
I loved the wonderful friendships that Maya builds with the local group of women, their relationships are heartwarming and inspirational, their understanding and support enables Maya to find peace and learn to move forward with her life.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the wonderful and rich description of the North Carolina setting, the author easily transports the reader to this tranquil fishing village on the Pamlico Sound, that easily captures the sights and sounds and flavor of the townspeople.
Hungry Mother Creek is an uplifting story of self-discovery and life's renewal, and perfect for a lighthearted summer read.
RATING: 4 STARS
Win A $20 Amazon Gift Card
Everyone who leaves a comment on the Hungry Mother Creek tour page will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases a copy of Hungry Mother Creek by August 4 and sends their receipt to Samantha@ChickLitPlus.com will receive 10 bonus entries!
Virtual Book Tour Schedule
July 23 – Book Reviews and More by Kathy – Review
July 24 – The Ultimate Late Bloomer – Q&A & Excerpt
July 28 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
July 29 – The Little Reading Cabin – Review
July 30 – Ski-Wee’s Book Corner – Review & Guest Post
July 30 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review & Guest Post
July 31 – We Read to Live – Review & Q&A
July 31 – Book Reviews and More by Dee – Guest Post & Excerpt
August 1- Steph the Bookworm – Review
August 4 – Karen’s Korner – Review