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Sleep Before Evening [Paperback]

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Item description for Sleep Before Evening by Magdalena Ball...

Marianne is teetering at the edge of reason. A death in the family sends her brilliant academic career and promising future spiraling out of control until resentment towards those who shaped her past leads her on a wild and desperate search for the truth about herself. On the seedy side of New York, she meets Miles, a hip musician busking the streets and playing low-rent venues in a muddled bid to make his own dreams come true. In her new life, she finds anarchic squalor, home grown music and poetry, booze, drugs, sex, violence, love, loss . and, above all, exhilarating freedom on her troubled journey from sleep to awakening. This gritty, relentless story unfolds with the same cool detachment that motivates the central character to peel back the layers of her life and expose the painful scalding within.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   296
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.9" Width: 5" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   0.7 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 24, 2007
Publisher   Bewrite Books
ISBN  1904492967  
ISBN13  9781904492962  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Literary
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Sleep Before Evening?

Brave Choice  Sep 11, 2008
The plot of SLEEP BEFORE EVENING is a brave author choice. Teen Marianne takes us on her journey into loss, grief, and medicating her pain with substance abuse. Mari's recovery is traced from resistance through acceptance of responsibility and finally transcendence. As a former Certified Chemical Dependency Practitioner I can verify Marianne's difficult journey as true to reality. Thank you, Magdalena Ball, for taking on this tough subject matter.

Frankie Schelly, Author of novels CHANCE PLACE and AT THE CROSSROADS
A Fist Full of Reality  Jan 22, 2008
Marianne {Mari} Cottons life soon turns from picture perfect to a nightmare in a heartbeat, after her grandfather's death. She loses her way, and replaces her mentor with musician Miles. He introduces her to drugs and Mari has a quick lesson in how easy it is to get hooked on heroine. As she struggles through bouts of drugs and sex, she spirals out of control and finally ends up in a drug treatment center at deaths door. Can she pull her life together, or will she surcome to the temptations.
This novel had me thinking back at my own vulnerbility as a teen, and the confusion and fears every teenager faces on a daily basis sooner or later. Life is hard enough, but a drug addiction is no laughing matter. Every teen should be required to read this novel and hopefully will learn a valueable lesson.

Petra Lozano
Founder, Author and Editor of
A Cautionary Coming-of-Age Story  Dec 29, 2007
What we have here is a full-on rush of ambitious literary fiction. That it largely succeeds as such is no consolation to horny but bookish males hoping for a bit of fluff or a few chuckles while killing time in the airport departure lounge.

It all starts when seventeen-year-old Marianne's godlike grandfather, who is her chess master and father-substitute, croaks. No clean death, this. He suffers a devastating stroke (as she watches) and lingers on painlessly (for him) until his tormented daughter (Marianne's mother Lily) decides to pull the plug. Except she doesn't bother to ask Marianne. That's major life crisis number one (unless you count the time her natural father took a hike when she was three).

Propelled by her grief over the loss of the only sane man in her life, Marianne goes into socioeconomic free-fall. It seems all she has to do is set foot on the Long Island Railroad and inevitably she's spiraling down into the rock music and drug culture of lower Manhattan. A creepy-sexy harmonica player named Miles is her undoing, and he does a helluva job, deflowering her and getting her hooked on horse, not necessarily in that order (or maybe simultaneously--she doesn't seem to notice or care).

When she thinks about it, she blames the other men in her life--her father and her mother's subsequent string of loser lovers, along with the infamous Miles and an all-male cast of criminals, dope dealers, and sleazy employers. But all along, she realizes eventually, she's been disappointed by the lack of love and attention from her mother, a self-absorbed painter with a manic-depressive lifestyle.

So, relax, guys. You may be crass, sleazy, opportunistic, and inept. But you're not at fault. You'll have to let the women work it out this time.

Gerald Everett Jones is the author of the boychik-lit novel My Inflatable Friend: The Confessions of Rollo Hemphill and a contributor to this site Daily.
Sleep Before Evening - an "addictive" book  Sep 24, 2007

Life isn't perfect, but seventeen-year-old Marianne Cotton is blessed with a loving and devoted grandfather who carefully schools her in piano, the arts, and literature. An "A" student, Marianne basks in his attention while eclipsing memories of her deadbeat dad. Lily Cotton, Marianne's self-involved, bipolar mother, loves her daughter within her own limitations. The needy artist frequently requires tending when moods swing, forcing Marianne to table her own needs and emotions to care for her. A series of men has invaded their lives, providing a less than perfect environment for Marianne.

The brilliant young woman manages to survive until her senior year in high school, when just before finals, Eric Cotton collapses into a vegetative state. Although Marianne is convinced her grandfather is still alive inside, the decision to pull the plug is made by Lily and her current husband, Russell. Marianne interprets this act as a deep betrayal, and reels in shock when she's notified that her grandfather has been removed from life support.

Faced with spiritual solitude, Marianne starts to unravel. She falls for a handsome and charismatic street musician named Miles, who lures her into a world of sex, drugs, and smoky club blues. Marianne's pain is diminished with each fix she accepts from her new group of exotic and seemingly attractive friends. Armed with a fake ID, school recedes and her pending NYU scholarship seems unimportant. Marianne lands a job at a sleazy bar, serving drinks to overweight groping men and pushing through the motions with more mental lethargy as her craving for absolution and oblivion careens forward, driving her to a nearly lethal intravenous heroin addiction.

Magdalena Ball's writing, insightful and deep, engages the reader from page one. Her characters linger long after the story resolves to its perfect conclusion. Highly recommended for a glimpse into the motivations behind heroin abuse, as well as thoroughly alluring family drama, Sleep Before Evening is powerfully addictive in its own right.
A good read  Sep 8, 2007
I'm very impressed. I loved the relationship between the protagonist and her grandfather, and the mother, who's so obviously bi-polar. Really a good read!

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