Wendy C. Ortiz was an only child and a bookish, insecure girl living with alcoholic parents in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Her relationship with a charming and deeply flawed private school teacher 15 years her senior appeared to give her the kind of power teenagers wish for, regardless of consequences. Her teacher - now a registered sex offender - continually encouraged her passion for writing while making her promise she was not leaving any written record about their dangerous sexual relationship. This conflicted relationship with her teacher may have been just five years long, but would imprint itself on her and her later relationships, queer and straight, for the rest of her life.
In Excavation: A Memoir, the black and white of the standard victim/perpetrator stereotype gives way to unsettling grays. The present-day narrator reflects on the girl she once was, as well as the teacher and parent she has become. It's a beautifully written and powerful story of a woman reclaiming her whole heart.
©2014 Wendy C. Ortiz (P)2014 Audible Inc.
I've only read some pages on my kindle book in between audiobook listens. I always prefer to listen to stories when I have the opportunity to do so. Story telling is a lost art and I feel as though the female narrator could've actually been the author. That's how realistic her narration sounded. I was able to listen to this in one day. On the other hand, I thought Jeff's tone always sounded too youthful, but he was very immature in many senses so that maybe the reasoning behind the youthful tone in narrating him.
The best quality about this story, and others like it, is redemption. I immediately want to judge that her redemption story doesn't look quite like I hoped it would, but that would be ignorant & arrogant. Every journey to redemption or that place of peace from our darkest or most trying moment is different. Wendy was very vulnerable and very transparent with her readers in this book. That is what I appreciate the most about her writing. Sometimes we can be more vulnerable on pen than in person and sometimes it's not by choice. This is something Wendy had learned early on in her life and something that sadly maybe true still.
She embodied Wendy in her performance. I never once felt as though someone was reading the story to me. I felt as if Wendy herself was telling me her story.
Bus Stop Wendy
This is a raw exhibition of a slice of life from an adolescent female. Every breath, every tear, can be felt somewhere in your past. The honesty makes this book feel so universal even if you've never experienced the dynamics of this particular relationship. This is simply a special piece of writing.
The wisdom is reaching far beyond what we see. Delight in the journey
A long tedious walk through a teenage girl's flirtation and subsequent relationship with her eighth grade English teacher. Too many stories about drugged out weekends; too many phone calls to the totally inappropriate teacher Mr. Ivers; too many cigarettes smoked alone in her room. The focus of her affections is a not very appealing either by description of his looks or in the context of his character. The more compelling sequences in the book are always her interactions with someone other than Mr. Ivers. As for the narrator; she seemed unfamiliar with the pronunciation of a great many words; or maybe that's just me. The deep personal nature of the revelations made by the young woman as she matures both stirring and enlightening; unfortunately just not all that interesting when they become ceaselessly repetitive.
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