Paisley Memories

The Beginning of Me

Young Adult - Coming of Age
186 Pages
Reviewed on 05/16/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I was born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida, and married my high school sweetheart and was whisked away to Idaho, A.F.B. The thought of our children growing up and not knowing our families, except through phone calls, pulled us back home. Shortly after my daughter was born I thought of writing a novel, but life got in the way and raising my children took priority. It wasn’t until twenty plus years later that the bug bit me again. I kept my notes and writing to myself for a while. I didn’t even tell my husband, until one day while we were cleaning the kitchen he ran across a scrap piece of paper that I had written the beginning of chapter one on. I whispered in embarrassment that I was writing a story. He was more excited about it than I was and has been supportive ever since. It took three years to write my debut novel “Paisley Memories”. It is about a young teenager who is raising a child with Down syndrome by herself. With only her wits, and a little bit of money, she lives like a gypsy with her daughter, Paisley. She comes to the realization that she either needs to put roots down and raise her daughter the best she can, or find a family who can give her daughter much more stability than she thinks she can provide. My daughter also has Down syndrome and was the inspiration for my story.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite

When nineteen-year-old Tess finds herself alone in the world after her father’s death, she realizes the enormity of life as a single teenage mother. She had no friends, no income, and no place to call home. What else could she do but hit the road in her dad’s classic Thunderbird with two-year-old Paisley riding shotgun. There was a huge world out there, if only she could discover her role in it.

Watching young mothers interact with their seemingly normal children and knowing that Paisley could never know the meaning of normal, Tess accidentally falls into a part-time job taking photographs for the eccentric, do-gooder lady who called herself Butterball. The only hitch? Tess would have to live with Butterball for an extended period of time in the small Florida Gulf-side town of Panacea. Without any sensible alternative in mind, Tess weighs her options and decides to play things day-by-day. At least she and Paisley could enjoy the comforts of beds for sleeping and shared food on the table until the time to go became apparent. Little did she know that her temporary living arrangements would lead to the best way to raise her child.

Zelle Andrews’ debut novel, Paisley Memories: The Beginning of Me, is an absolute MUST READ. Engaging dialogue and memorable characters move this story along at a rapid pace. As Tess enters into a secure world of adulthood, she understands the goodness in people and learns to trust again. I love, love, love this book! I anxiously await more from Zelle Andrews!

Pam Hess

This book made me laugh out loud and made my eyes drip. I could feel the emotions Tess was going through. It also made me research to see that there is indeed a Sopchoppy Worm Gruntin' Festival. Have it marked on my calendar for next year. I am ready for the next book Zelle.

Kenneth Johnson

A debut novel, Zelle Andrews paints her stories not with feelings, smells, tastes or other tactics used by contemporary authors. Instead, Ms. Andrews uses interpersonal relationships to craft her storylines.

M. C. Simon

While tears are still falling from my eyes, I am writing this book review. I just finished reading “Paisley Memories – The Beginning of Me”… a book that touched everything inside me.

Paisley Memories is a book about people, parents, children, a teenage mother of a child with Down syndrome… an orphan and abandoned mother whose heart is filled with anger, hate, worries, questions and fears; a book about real and false friends; a book about life, fate and… love.

I would lie if I told you that the author is talented, only. In fact, Zelle Andrews is brilliant! She has not only kept me busy, but she has made me cross so many internal states. I couldn’t imagine that I can laugh out loud and in the next moment cry out with all my heart.

I have only one problem and one complaint…

My only problem was that… I was very eager to read the book and… I started reading it while being at work. No, the office was not the problem; I just had one of those not so busy days. The problem was that my loud laughter and my teary eyes were noticed several times by my coworkers. They started to question my mental state so… I had to explain to them what was happening. And now they want to laugh and cry with me at the same time.

My one complaint is that the book ended and I didn’t find another book written by the same author.. I wonder where the author has been hiding herself until now and when her next book will be published. I officially declare Zelle Andrews as one of my favorite authors now.

There are several reasons for which I would always be grateful for having a life on this planet. This list has now an addition to it. I am happy to be here and now have been so fortunate to read “Paisley Memories”.

The moment when I closed the book covers, a deep silence embraced my entire being. It’s been a long time since I’ve last read such a well-written life story. Now… I have to think. I suddenly have to think about so many things; too many to be included in a review.

With all my heart, I recommend this book. If you want to read about life and love in almost all its aspects, grab this book now!