Paddle to Paddle

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Written in non-rhyming poem format, Paddle to Paddle is a fictional work by author Lois Chapin that seems to integrate her personal life into it (as the main character is named Lois) in beautiful prose. Starting from the day her father placed her little brother in her arms, this story unfolds before the readers’ eyes. With an abusive mother, a working father, and several dysfunctional relationships, Lois describes the very intimate details about what she has endured. The dedication of this book is “to those who found a way out” and I cannot help but feel like this book is a cry for help for those who are trying to escape life. As a little girl, Lois remembers being given spoilt milk to drink and moldy food that she needs to scrape off just to get some nutrients. This abuse follows her throughout her life and Lois decides to become a therapist. As a therapist, Lois talks about how some of her patients end up dying. She speaks about the man with two daughters, one who has killed herself and the other one who is well on her way to bodily harm. Lois does not know how to save the girl, yet tries to help the Dad cope with what is going on in his family. I especially loved the part where she says, “My personal code is that I do not educate anyone now who isn’t asking me for advice”.

One chapter that I found very interesting in the book was “Currency Exchange Rate”. This chapter seems like it is keeping track of life in the form of coupons, points, merits, coins, tokens, trading cards. As Lois gets older, her experiences and the situations she finds herself in become more and more destructive. She thinks this is normal. She becomes used to her mother’s violent behavior and learns to grab her so she cannot be scratched. Her romantic relationships are no better as she dates someone who is hiring prostitutes and in the chapter named “Darwin Rolls His Eyes”, she states that “Natural selection is the shadow I deny” along with all the ways she has been abused – at knifepoint, throat gripped – and so on. This book has a real feel of hopelessness to it, but it shows that Lois has perseverance even though she has been put through it all.

The poetic rhythm of this book eases the harshness of the words. And as Lois has children of her own, she watches them grow, going through failed relationships (her son), and drug addiction (her daughter). This book is descriptive and wonderfully creative.

Reviewed By:

Author Lois Chapin
Star Count 4/5
Format eBook
Page Count 152 pages
Publisher Nightingale Rose Publications
Publish Date 20-Sep-2019
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue September 2019
Category Poetry & Short Stories


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