However peculiar Ennis Whelan has been for the first six years of his life, not until the day he found the bird, did the degree of his strangeness become so tangible.
Dr. Owen Whelan and his wife Sarah, both Irish immigrants, have been living the American dream, as well as raising seven bright and expressive children. Their youngest Ennis, however, has since birth, been a bit of a mystery.
Ennis was always small, meek and frightfully odd but there is so much more to him than anyone could have imagined. His sister Teagan grows increasingly suspicious of his behavior but their mother dismisses her claims, until the day he starts healing people.
When Ennis ultimately reveals the gift of sight, he questions his father about visions of his past, including his voyage to America in 1844. Owen prayed he’d never have to share those tragic memories but he will share them, when he realizes he has no choice. Ennis’ life may depend on it.
When Owen Whelan revealed his secret, he was set free from a haunting past and an uncertain future for his son, Ennis. However, in order to know the true depths of his heart, first we must follow him all the way back to a dirt road on a chilly and bitter spring dawn in Ireland. Behind the locked doors of his memories and hidden beneath shame, hunger and eventually escape, we learn the true meaning of the proverb, “There’s hope from the ocean but none from the grave.” Owen’s journey will teach him that sometimes you have to cross that ocean not only to survive but to finally find love, life and become the man worthy of your own admiration and respect.
There are turning points in life you cannot come back from but if you’re brave enough, you can begin again.
Inside the Mind of the Author
After I chose this topic to write about, I started to take it back but then I though, “Where’s the fun in that?” The inside of this author’s mind isn’t completely uninteresting so perhaps, there’s something inside this big blond head that you may be interested in knowing. Besides, I have this agonizing way of not taking things back. I have things that do not fit or that I hated when I got home from the store or gadgets that just didn’t work but I just couldn’t take them back. I made the choice to bring those things into my world so I should be stuck with them, right?
Stuck is a good word for my mind. Things go in but they can’t get out.
I realized early on in life that I could draw and paint and did that pretty much daily until I could write, then I did them both. On that journey, I also realized I had the ability to remember things other people couldn’t and could draw and write things I’d seen or heard directly from memory but only if those things left an impression on me. These images did not necessarily have to be enclosed in what by most standards are major events. They just had to leave an imprint for some unknown reason. This has been a lifelong curse as much as it has a gift. I can still see Christmas Eve 1969. We were running up to my sister’s apartment next door after midnight. I can still look down at the sidewalk and see my pink furry slippers in the light bit of snow on that city street. Unfortunately, I can also vividly remember finding my sweet cat Pumpkin, bloody and lying dead beneath the tree outside of my sister’s apartment when I came home from school one day. He’d been hit by a car.
I don’t even have to close my eyes. The really rough part of it all is the emotional memories live in there too. That flash-memory of Christmas Eve makes my heart race and seeing poor Pumpkin in my mind can bring tears to my eyes and then anger. No, I couldn’t tell you what I wore the first day I ever went to school but I can tell you I was wearing a red and brown plaid dress and brown Mary Jane’s the day a goat ate a chunk of my dress at a petting zoo, on a Saturday at the old Glen Burnie Mall. I was about four or five. I was scared to death. I can still see that crazy goat dragging me along as I screamed for help. Stop laughing. Okay, go ahead and laugh, I’m sure most of the people at the mall did too.
Inside my mind is fifty years of memories, visuals, emotions and yes, even voices from my entire life and if you don’t believe me, I might as well not even bother to tell you about the day I was in WalMart and heard a woman speaking a few racks over and immediately said, “That’s Mrs. Morris, my first grade teacher!” It was. I hadn’t heard her voice in over twenty years. The true blessing in all of this mushed up gray matter is being able to remember the majority of every significant event in my life. They may fall into the category of what one may think of as significant but to my brain, they were. Having a vivid imagination married with a photographic memory may not be blessing if you’re trying to forget things but to a writer, it feels like you’ve been given a library of work that is yet to be written.
About the author:
I was born on Valentine’s Day a long, long time ago in South Baltimore, Maryland, less than a mile from Fort McHenry and Federal Hill. I’m the youngest of eleven children. I’m a very simple person. I love my life and am always striving to make it better for myself and my family. I write, I draw and I work full-time. I also paint beautiful watercolors with my three year old granddaughter.
I’ve been married for nearly 19 years and together we have two sons and a daughter. I’d call myself a football fan but I mostly only watch my home team, the World Champion Baltimore Ravens. I love super heroes and Superman has been my favorite since I was a little girl. June 2013 the new Superman movie “Man of Steel” arrives in theaters and it cannot get here soon enough for me. I love cats and I have a Maine Coon named Columbus.
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