Set in glamorous 1970s Las Vegas, Overlay is the fighting-to-come-of-age story of a resilient child born into an ongoing cycle of alcoholism and abandonment. Marlayna develops a powerful sense of self-preservation in contrast to the fallen adults entrusted with her care. Her profound story explores the characters and events populating her life as she moves from home to home, parent to parent, family to family, ultimately becoming homeless at the age of fourteen.
Out of the resources of her remarkable childhood emerges an inner strength that will charm and captivate listeners and remain in their consciousness long after the last page of her story has been turned.
©2012 Marlayna Glynn Brown (P)2014 Marlayna Glynn Brown
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This is one girls story of growing up in the 70's.It is honest and heart wrenching at times.This was an exceptional book!Having grown up the same years as the main character , I was blown away by the similarities in our lives,both good and bad.I found it well written and plotted out.All the characters were believable and Abby Elvidge gave them voices that were perfect.I am anxious to get to the 2nd book to this story!
I was given a copy for an honest review from Audio Book Blast dot com.
"A Captivating Story of Strength & Survival"
Profound, Intriguing, Triumphant
The story truly captures a child's view of life's "mysteries", upeavals, & triumphs.Maralayna's sense of self-preservation & strength is one that I can totally relate to. She has a sense of "total recall" & tells a story that paints a vivid picture of her world.
Abby's voice takes me "there". When I listen to her, the story unfolds in such compelling tone that I had a difficlut time teaing myself away when I had other things to do. I wanted to know what was happening to Maralayna next. Abby's voice texture is intriguing & brings warmth to Maralayna amazingly mature insights as she expresses them.
The story made me both laugh & cry. The story resonated deeply within me, as parts of it is my story.
This book is the first novel I have "read" in years, as I stopped reading fiction 24 years ago; preferring Biographies, Esoteric & How To books. It is also my first audiobook. Between the richness of the story & Abby's fantastic narration, I will be listening to more Audio Books in the future.
"Best Memoir Ever!"
I really liked this book. Overlay is the 1st book of a series of 3. It is a memoir about the authors life. While I find most memoirs dull, this memoir is written more like a novel. Not a dull moment in it!
Overlay... A book about this authors life and how she survived growing up in Las Vegas in the 70s and 80s. Being 50+ myself, I can relate to a lot of what the author says in her details and I was in Las Vegas once and a cab driver told me most of the people that lived there was because they were too broke after casino and couldn't get back home. The details are spot on! This book made me want to give the little girl Marlayna a big hug and a place to stay!
The author, Marlayna Glynn Brown did a really great job on this book. She wrote it in such a way to keep our interest. The narrator, Abby Elvidge did a great job delivering this book to us too with all her voices and spoke very clearly so i didn't have to wonder what she said. Good job ladies! Now off to book 2 City of Angels!
"Overlay" was an incredibly moving memoir about Marlayna, a young girl growing up on the seedy side of Las Vegas in the 1970's. It begins when she's old enough to remember things at the age of four. Her parents are careless alcoholics and put themselves before their child. She has a lot of questions and doesn't know what things mean when she's young. She was born with a strong will to survive and this is her story.
At first, they live in a somewhat ordinary situation but it soon becomes apparent that her life isn't anywhere near normal. Her parents are often dumping her off with anyone willing to take her. Her parents separate and she and her mom move to a shady apartment building shadowed by casinos. Her mom goes to work and has to leave her alone sometimes but then she begins to bring different men home. She becomes a latch-key child. Her mom even takes her to the bar at night. Marlayna develops a nervous stomach and is frequently sick.
This is a must read in my opinion. It's about growing up and overcoming obstacles even as a kid. Having to adapt to situations that are beyond her control. Depending on your age, there are many things in this book you will remember that were popular during the 70's. I found myself recalling a few such as the Sizzler restaurant and some television programs.
This is book one in a trilogy and it ends with her calling her mother who has moved to Los Angeles and asking if she could come and live with her for a while. She's now a teenager and has experienced many things that most people haven't at her age. She withdraws herself from school and boards a bus and ends her journal....for now.
Abby Elvidge does a terrific job narrating this book. She's a natural. She has a pleasant voice and it almost feels as if Marlayna is telling her own story. She has a perfect cadence which makes this a great listen. I would definitely recommend this audiobook.
Audiobook received in exchange for an unbiased review.
"This book changed me"
Definitely. It simply tells the story of a young girl growing up poor and in very bad circumstances, all of which is true. Along way she has so many bad things happen to her, caused by people who she should have been able to trust. It was very sad to read and really got to me many times. It was really eye-opening for me and has changed my thinking about a lot of things. I'll never forget it. Anyone who doesn't mind a harrowing journey that is all real, and doesn't mind finding yourself growing and crying as you go along should read this book.
There are many scenes that stand out in my mind, weeks after I have finished the book. Every time one of the children in the story is abused or ignored or worse, you really feel it.
I really liked the reading. I felt that Abby Elvidge did a wonderful job of bringing me into the story, and yet almost immediately I kind of forget she is there - I just got involved in it and the reading is a big part of this. I think she was a great match for the part. I have listened to many audiobooks and Abby is one of my favorites. Her performance is deceptively simple - she emodies the character's strengths and vulnerabilities so well. I look forward to the next two volumes, because I have to know what happens next for this resilient little girl, who luckily grows up to write about her experiences.
"True Story with Life Lessons and Connections"
If you want to experience the sadness of a childhood with alcoholic parents, this is the perfect book. I am not saying that to talk you out of reading the book, in fact it is an important story. I am also an Adult Child of Alcoholic Parents. Many of the anecdotes are very similar to my own. In many ways this child is lucky. I was not outgoing. I didn’t have friends. I had no self-confidence. I had no future plans. She was popular, self-confident, and was able to look toward making herself better. We both felt loneliness, kept secrets, and felt no confidence to stand up for ourselves. I was never worried about being homeless, but I had no one to put boundaries on my behavior.
This memoir was written by someone that experienced this dark childhood. It was real, hard to listen to, heartbreaking, but it held my attention throughout the story. The narrator helped to make the story real. She was easy to listen to and expressed all the emotions perfectly. I would recommend this book to everyone that is ACoA or knows someone that may be.
"Very Impactful Memoir"
This was an extremely interesting story. It started out a bit slow, but that was necessary to introduce us to the people and situations involved. It is a very intense book and touches on addiction, poverty, divorce, abuse and homelessness. I think it's important that those of us who have been lucky enough to have a fairly stable upbringing to have at least an idea about what other people are going through on a daily basis. Something I find highly unlikely and took a bit away from the authors' creditability for me, though; was the utter certainty she has of everything that's happened in her life since she was four years old. I would be much more trusting of her if there was something like 'This is how I remember things being, but the accuracy may be off due to my age at the time.' I understand that she's very smart and kept a journal from a young age, but it going back to the age of four (and being accurate) is extremely unlikely. So, take that bit with a grain of salt. Overall though, I think that this is a must read, particularly for those who work with or around children.
The narrator did a decent enough job. While I won't be going out of my way to find more narrated by the same person, I won't be going out of my way to avoid them, either.
I received a free copy of this book from the author, narrator or publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.
"Painful Childhood Neglect"
This book was gifted to me via AudioBook Blast for an honest review.
The story is an autobiography of a girl's life in and around Las Vegas in the 70's from the age of about 5 through highschool. I believe there are two other books by this author that pick up where this one leaves off and finishes the story.
One is lead to believe by the title that Las Vegas will somehow be prominant in the story, but this is not the case. What unfolds is the author's unendeing childhood neglect beginning at a very early age and continuing through her adolescent years. Both parents were alcoholics and and it is clear from the very beginning they were incapable of caring in any way for a child. Though she was not physically or sexually abused it is apparent that the neglect that happened in this girl's life was atrocious. She must have kept a careful diary otherwise I don't know how she could have remembered the names of all the people she refers to in this book. Almost everyone and everything she mentions lets her down and it is so clear that all this poor girl is looking for was someone she could latch on to so she could have found some sort of stability. Sadly, she never does find this and is left to fend for herself.
This book reminded me of another I read awhile back called Three Little Words by Ashley Rhodes-Courter. I found the writing style to be similar. The girl in that book was shuffled from foster home to foster home, but the result was much the same,as was the messsage.
Children need structure and a stable family environment to grow and thrive to become mature adults that can be contributing members of society.
I found the narrator's pace too slow, but I bumped it up to 1.25 instead of 1.0 and it was fine. I struggled to keep listening because each new scenario in the story was the same as the last. Disappointment time and again.
I suppose one could point to this story as an example of how neglect can be every bit as damaging as abuse. I wish I could give it 3 and a half stars because that would be closer to what I think it should be rated.
An amazing, true story of of a young girl who, inspite of all odds, became a great person, an incredibly talented writer, photographer. And the best, she became a mother
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