Child of Sorrow

Fiction - Drama
64 Pages
Reviewed on 12/01/2013
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Author Biography

Gloria Taylor Weinberg is a fourth-generation Floridian who retired from a 22-year career as a journalist with the Fort Pierce Tribune in 2001. She now writes for Indian River Magazine, based in Fort Pierce, where she has lived for more than 40 years. Gloria is a self-taught writer who worked her way up through the ranks at the Tribune, holding positions including photographer, reporter, columnist, Port St. Lucie Editor and Life Editor. When she retired, Gloria was the Tribune’s Projects Editor. She also wrote a weekly feature called “Tributes,” which told the life stories of recently deceased St. Lucie County residents. The series won the Florida Society of Professional Journalists’ first place award for excellence in 2000. Gloria's Sunday columns won awards from the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors from 1996 to 1999. In 2000, she led the team that earned the FSNE’s first place award for a series of 17 stories on the Indian River Lagoon as well as the FSNE’s Gold Medal for Public Service. The project also won first place for in-depth reporting from the Florida Society of Professional Journalists. Before she became a writer, Gloria spent seven years as a firearms instructor at Indian River Community College Police Academy while competing in state and U.S. Regional Police Combat matches. She was the academy's first firearms training coordinator.
Gloria's debut novel, “A Homicide in Hooker’s Point,” earned a 2011 Royal Palm Literary Award from the Florida Writers Assoc.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Kathy Golden for Readers' Favorite

Gloria Weinberg’s Child of Sorrow is a fictional account of a true story. In 1959, in Clewiston, Florida, seventeen-year-old “Vicki Bayle,” attractive, smart, and dreaming of doing something remarkable with her life, becomes pregnant. By the time her parents learn of her pregnancy, it’s too late for Vicki to have an abortion. Yet the attitudes and morality of the day won’t allow her to remain in the community as an unwed mother. In a residence for pregnant, unmarried girls, readers meet Vicki and others like her, all living as social outcasts. In this house for the disgraced, some three hundred miles from her parent’s home, Vicki and the baby in her womb develop that bond between mother and child that is destined to be severed.

When viewing the book’s cover, I couldn't help but think that seldom has an image so compelling capture the ambiance of a time and place. The sepia tones of the house called Safe Haven are harbingers of an environment where the inhabitants are treated like pictures with all the vibrant colors muted. Unlike unwed mothers of today, these girls aren't allowed to decorate a room in either fluffy pink or sky blue. Instead, they are admonished to become as detached from their unborn babies as surrogates. They live a rigid and disciplined life, and the highly anticipated delivery date of married women is for these young mothers, the date that will set them free and allow them once again to be acceptable citizens.

Yet despite these circumstances, readers will not find Vicki Bayle’s account of day-to-day life too depressing to read. Through her voice, they’ll share a wide spectrum of experiences: curiosity, friendship, splashes of humor and mischievousness, indifference, compassion, and inevitably, sorrow — for what other fruit can the forced and painful separation of a mother from her child yield? I encourage all to read this story. It doesn't matter that it speaks of practices and incidents that occurred over fifty years ago. Gloria Weinberg’s Child of Sorrow is larger than its history. It is an engaging record of the natural human capacity to adapt rather than be crushed and to love with a hope and a perseverance that leads to long sought-after closure.

Gloria Taylor Weinberg

Thank you, Kathy