Tuesday, March 10, 2015

From the Abyss III by John Emil Augustine

                              

From the Abyss III

 A string of struggles, along with an equal share of triumphs, have been part of John Augustine’s story ever since he realized he was in an abusive marriage at the age of 24. In book three, at the age of 32, John struggles with the demons of two relationships, with finding a new career, and with keeping his rapidly growing family intact. Rather than the strong but imperfect man of books one and two, readers will see a whole new side of John as his trials continue to mount. Circumstances will change drastically, and John will be faced with his toughest challenges yet. What happens when John ends up on the very fringes of society will change your mind about everything and everyone you thought you knew in the first two books of this increasingly thrilling and psychologically complex series.



                     
My Review

"Lightning strikes me 
When you smile and it seems 
You understand me..." 

From The Abyss III is filled with real life moments. John Emil Augustine puts it all out there and does it with grace and humanity. There is something empowering in everything that he does whether it is his writing, his music or his teachings. He has great compassion for people who have experienced abuse on any level and is very sensitive to others. His message is inspiring and motivating.

I would read anything by John Emil Augustine. He is an extremely talented author who writes with his heart on his sleeve. There is passion in his stories that are raw and captivating.

Most people will relate to From The Abyss on some level. What makes it even more intriguing is how much he opens up and shows us his vulnerable side which we don't get to see very often from a male's point of view. You don't have to experience abuse in the same way he does to appreciate the content though it is fun to be a fly on the wall and look into his most private happenings. In some ways I think he looks back at his life and thinks of himself by the mistakes that he has made but I don't see it that way. I believe the road that he has taken to get to where he is now is a road well traveled. It seems he has learned from his bad experiences, abuse and hard times. As a reader I see his growth. It has me reflecting back at my own life. It's so comforting to know that it's okay to be less than perfect. We all are flawed and embracing the past takes us to a much better place.

This guy has a story to tell and he shares it with great dignity yet he reminds us as readers that none of us are alone and there is always hope.

Quote ~

The backseat was hard plastic. The cage on the window between the back seat and the front kept me from killing my driver, I guessed. I had been in the back of a squad car once. I had gotten a talking-to from a cop when I first started driving because I had zipped across three lanes too quickly on the freeway. That time I’d been let off with a lecture. Today there was no lecture. I was taken straight downtown. A tow truck showed up for the Blazer just as we were pulling away. 


The first book, From The Abyss is a great place to start!


24-year-old John Augustine is looking for a lasting, loving relationship and finds one hidden where he least expects it. Knowing that no relationship is perfect, he walks in with eyes wide open but is unable to see the future swirling with hell and heartache. Amidst the struggles of a new marriage, John begins to realize his wife is far different than the woman he thought he married. Her mental illness soon drags the new family past the point of no return. As a man, John struggles to be strong and tackle their problems single-handedly, though the marital foundation is eroding before his eyes. But once his wife files for divorce, he finds himself in a free-fall.


                                            My review 
It's really refreshing to read a memoir this honest from a male's point of view. In this story his sex doesn't matter because you see HIM in all his rawness, insecurities and sufferings. It doesn't take long to get absorbed into this story.  It also doesn't take long to have the feeling that you know this guy. This guy could be your friend. He is familiar and you can't help being drawn to him. There are so many moments that I feel so emotional about as he is spilling his guts out on a silver platter. He does not seem to concern himself to how this makes him look to the world, he is just telling his story as he knows to be true. I have to admire his honesty and courage. What he has done here takes bravery. He just seems to be on a noble mission to share his side of the story in hopes it will touch someone or help them get out of the bad situation they may find themselves. This is a human tale told with such candidness that I am in awe of his character. There is no ego just one man setting the record straight. Recording a life that could have sunk or swam and it looks to me that he has sailed across the rocky seas and got himself further away from the abyss to a better life.

"Sometimes, I think I would like to go back and fix what I did; take the off-ramp. But you just never get to do that. Not really. Maybe you wouldn't want to. Because those signs keep showing up until you understand what is written. If not then, it would have hit me at another time. I saw the sign but didn't realize what it meant. And in fairness to me, there was no way I could have known. You can only really, truly see the future when it's in the past."

A great read whether you have been in a good relationship or a sick one. If you have lived long enough, there are things in this poignant memoir that you might just be able to relate to.
The story comes from a dark place but is told with optimism for the future. Are you searching for your own silver lining? There is without a doubt a better life around the corner. You just have to stay open to all and any possibilities.

When there is love in your heart, there is HOPE!


John Augustine, having plummeted into an emotional abyss following an abusive marriage, finds himself picking up the pieces and moving on. However, with a four year old son, John changes strategy and takes his dating online. Though he has reservations, he ends up finding the perfect girl who also has a four-year-old son...and who is willing to travel. During their courtship, John makes other life changes as well, quitting touring to buy a house and begin a Master's program. Unfortunately, time and money become thin, and John takes on a second job and a few loans while his new wife moves in and looks for work. Meanwhile, John's ex-wife hatches a smear campaign against his new family and gives John an ultimatum: his son or his new family. John begins to buckle under the mounting pressure, while his wife ends up feeling alienated and lonely in a strange new town. A complicated life will come crashing down on John, and he will be forced to decide between what is important, and who and what he can forever live without. His children will learn what kind of dad John really is, and his family will be forever redefined when John makes the most difficult choices of his life. Will his choices knock him back down, or will John emerge from the abyss? 


My Review

From The Abyss II opens up and grabs you right back to where we left off. There is something soothing about John even in the middle of chaos. He is soft spoken (maybe it's more like soft hearted) but what pulls me in the most is his sheer honestly. He comes across as real as a snowy day on Christmas. He knows how to serve up a story, offering one small slice at a time. I like how easy it feels to get into his head and understand his plight. He is a man of circumstance but he doesn't fold. He is a survivor here to tell his story in multi-color techno theater. His story comes to life and you are there with him each step of the way. It would be difficult not to feel compassion towards this person who has been dealt some hard blows. I mean, life gets tough for most of us but it takes a special kind of person who is willing to put it all out there like dirty laundry for all to see. He does this with dignity and grace with the hopes that his life lessons, his story will help others. This seems like a Nobel gesture but I am certain as helpful as this story is to others, he is getting some kind of satisfaction on the other end. There is a therapy by sharing your private life in such a explosive revealing manner. I can only applaud this talented person because I do think people can relate to this character and relate to some of the hardships that he has had to endure. This story is told in a beautiful eloquent way. The simplicity is what really draws me in. Nothing fancy, no car races, murders or wild sex. It’s just life, perfectly imperfect and the message is loud and clear. Actually there are many positive messages but you will have to search for them yourself. What I find most appealing is what is not said on these pages. It's what's between the lines that have the most meaning. There is so much depth but so much that is up for your own interpretation and that is what makes this story even more appealing, wildly compelling and insightful. At the same time there is plenty of food for thought.
 This is a great addition to the first tittle and I think both men and women will really relate to “From The Abyss” on some level. I already can't wait for the next installment!


"It was at that moment as my emotions hung briefly in limbo that I realized something important. You don't ever know what you are getting. No one can predict the future. No one can predict his or her behavior. Standing there watching as Kim quickly bounced away, I realized that every relationship decision, no matter how informed, is a huge gamble. The girl I met on the Internet was no safer or dangerous than the girl I had been set up with by my good friend. We in the relationship have the power to make it what it is, but the power has to be shared equally. That's the gamble....”




Bio
John Emil Augustine grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota and toured in his twenties and early thirties with local and national acts; writing, arranging, and performing with notable jazz, blues, gospel, reggae, post funk, prog rock, and folk groups. John has also been a landscaper, mail carrier, English professor, and forklift operator. He currently lives in Minneapolis with his wife and four boys.

Links:

From the Abyss
From the Abyss III


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