We here at Virtual Writers love to bring you great books and we’re pleased to introduce Julia Rose Grey’s haunting historical novel, Cry Before Supper.
“…this book could easily become this generation’s Little Women.” Angella Graff
A story about the power of perseverance (Published July 2012)
It is the early 1960’s. The Campbell family moves from their Philadelphia row home to a larger house in a suburb where they believe they will have a better life. For a while, they do. The parents, devoted grandmother and five children start each day with a song. Bonded by their happiness, they protect the one child who suffers from an undiagnosed neurological condition from abuse and negativity. The family’s joy is their strength.
Unfortunately, it is also the source of their demise.
The Campbells’ cheerfulness entices a jealous neighbor — someone whom they help in his time of need — to inflict irrevocable harm upon them. Each of the family members is struck hard by this strategy none of them can fathom. The family’s future is shattered. In an instant, the happiness and closeness are gone forever.
Most of the Campbells react in way that is uncharacteristic. One child does not. She realizes that family members need attention and, unwittingly, takes on the task of caring for them. The irony is, this child is the one who believes she has neither the perseverance nor the resilience to bear such a weight. The question is, will she, can she, in her own stumbling way, bring the family home once again.
The body fell out with a thud. It wasn’t a hard sound, like the time we were playing hide-and-seek in the library and I turned too quickly, sending the unabridged Oxford English Dictionary and the table it was sitting on crashing to the floor. No. This sound was soft…A sudden crackling sound split the silence like lightning. I jerked with a startle and gasped before I realized the sound was the lady’s jaw. It had dropped open, as if to say “Hello, dearies.” I guess she was as surprised to see us as we were to see her…I let out a sigh and tried to think through this awkward state of affairs…Help might be here soon, I thought. Crosey — Caroline Rose, my younger sister — had taken off as soon as the mysterious lady did her jack-in-the-box routine. Apparently she’d run down the hallway and was now leaning over the balustrade. I heard her shouting, “Mom, call the police! No, make that the coroner. She’s beyond help, now!”
“This is the kind of book I love and for once I tried to read it slowly to savor it and to avoid reaching the end. I am always fascinated, especially at this point in my life (I am around the age these children would be now) by how other people grew up and by families, which I am sadly lacking. The characters in books become my circle of acquaintances and friends. And these are more than worthy. Through the eyes of Annie we meet a unique family of four generations and a community of friends and helpers. Annie became more and more endearing and quietly courageous the longer I got to know her and I was truly grateful for the ending which left me smiling and yes, dare I say happy. No supervillains, no cliches, no plot contrivances, just people who felt genuinely real.” D Greenspace
“Cry Before Supper” by Julia Rose Grey was a real treat. The author tells the story of Annie Campbell, beginning in 1961 when the family lives in a suburb in Philadelphia: 5 children, a grandmother and a dog. The story is told in Annie’s youthful and beautiful voice, at times naive, at times, melancholic and later stronger and assertive. We learn about the family background, the sibling rivalries, neighbourhood gossip, the morals and ideas of the times and the special blend of family values that the Campbells live by and how these evolve as the story moves into the 70s and the children make their own way. ” Christoph Fischer
“Cry Before Supper is both haunting and hopeful. Ms Gray condenses a great deal of time and detail into a mere 250 or so pages. However, no thread is lost, the characters are exactly drawn, including the delightful dog, and the action moves right along. This excellent first novel, which I hope will be followed by others, is reminiscent of the Aeneid in that its structure approaches poetry. Due to the young narrator and her buddy-pal sister, it also has a tinge of To Kill a Mockingbird. The story line glides as seductively as a Bond thriller. Yet if the author has inadvertently channeled any predecessors, I don’t see it. The book is fresh and new. Upon opening it, I thought I would read as far as the on-line excerpt for a start, but I could not put it down! Read through to the end and savored every word. Brava, Ms Gray!” CC Meezer
About Julia Rose Grey
I’ve always enjoyed writing, fiction, nonfiction, some poetry, and even some plays. Once I wrote a parody of Edgar Allen Poe’s poem The Raven, which bemoaned having to do homework. My teacher loved it and praised my imagination. My parents didn’t. They thought I wasn’t paying attention in class. Fortunately, that experience didn’t stop me from putting my thoughts on paper.
I’ve had a career and am finally at a point where I can write full-time and relish my days creating a world of my own. My characters, the towns, the events become real to me.
My friends tell me that, although I write about serious events, my sense of humor and love of ironic comedy is always apparent. That’s providential, as if saved by my lack of recognition of my own motives.
I currently live in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA and love classical music, classic cars from the 1950s and early 1960s and classic towns of that by-gone era.
The Dream Catcher, a whimsical holiday tale about Rupert Rumple who, despite his many fears, journeys far from home to discover the importance of dreams.
Short story, “Command, Control, Communicate” in Leaves of Change: Lessons on Love, Laughter, and Living, an Anthology by Durham Editing and E-books