Friday, February 10, 2017
MANUELA BLAYNE, A LIFE APART
Manuela Blayne contains within her soul a deep desire to change from an underprivileged ignorant girl to an educated, privileged person who can rise above her circumstances. She wants to change her world and that of others near her. As she endures frightening, violent episodes, Manuela learns to love more and fear less. In this short novella, she achieves growth from a child to a young woman.
Along the path from childhood to maturity, Trudy interacts with Manuela. Trudy learns to bless others, and in the process she is blessed. It’s a sad story of suffering and coping—a story of overcoming, a tale concluding with an unexpected kind of victory.
Despite the deep tragedy of Manuela Blayne, Trudy has fun. She passes from the innocence of a young girl coming of age, still seizing the opportunities to act silly and fall in love.
MANUELA BLAYNE is my gift to you in February, Black History Month. The novella shows the Black History that is seldom told in history books. Without noteworthy historical events except the founding of Piney Woods School, the book is fiction.
For me, however, it is as real as anything I’ve ever known. Seldom does a day pass in my life without memories of a childhood friend like Manuela occupying a large part of my mind. When we were young, I learned from knowing her some realities that have helped me understand what it meant to grow up in southern apartheid. Far away from the eyes of the public world, we interacted with our Black neighbors, but if we saw them in town, we hardly spoke when they dared to walk down the front street. The time was the fifties. My story takes place in 1910.
I considered naming the novella A LIFE APART; thus, I chose this name for the subtitle. My husband, who is also one of the graphic artists assisting me, redesigned the cover to emphasize the idea of a life apart.
Manuela Blayne, A Life Apart