Southern Scribe
    our culture of storytelling


Memoir Review    


When Katie Wakes
by Connie May Fowler
Doubleday, 2002
ISBN: 03-8550-201-X

Connie May Fowler (Before Women Had Wings) is one of my favorite authors on a very short list.  After reading When Katie Wakes she is now one of my favorite people. 

Fowler’s writing style is clean: honest and forthright.  She uses simple words, short sentences.  Yet, like a painter who uses only primary colors, she blends her honesty and simplicity with the pain of her memories to create a thing of beauty. 

Her story is an old one.  The child of abusive, alcoholic parents she finds herself in a relationship with an abusive alcoholic.  It’s the story of girl meets boy, girl falls in love with boy, girl allows boy to physically, mentally and emotionally batter her.  Girl sees no way out.

But, there is redemption.  It comes in the form of a small Labrador puppy Fowler names Kateland, Katie for short.  Katie’s unconditional love helps Fowler overcome the sickness of self-loathing and to realize a better life is possible if she has the courage to pursue it.

Although the story is sad, it is not depressing.  Fowler conveys hope rather than self-pity, optimism rather than despair.  It is a story of bravery and victory.

In 1997, Fowler and her husband Mika co-founded the Women With Wings Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to aiding victims of domestic abuse


Brenda Kerwin
Southern Scribe Reviews

Brenda Kerwin is a Systems Librarian at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama. She holds a BS from TSU, an MLIS from the University of Alabama.  Brenda is currently working on an English/Creative Writing undergrad degree at Huntingdon.  

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