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COMING IN 2023. 'Truth Be Told' 



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Below is a brief commentary for your entry in the 27th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Award. Our judges are asked to write a short commentary of each entry they read. Some judges use their commentary as an opportunity to critique, others to review; some combine the two. A judges’ response is unique to their individual perspective.

Entry Title: The Definition of Insanity - Coping with a child's mental Illness

Author: Rhonda Robinson

Judge Number: 36 

Entry Category: Life Stories

*Writer's Digest Judge’s Commentary*:

"Rhonda Robinson has done a fabulous job of writing a memoir that tells of an early abusive marriage and her heroic efforts to raise her children from that first husband. My heart went out to the most abused of her children by that husband, Roy, Kyle.

This is a gripping narrative that held my rapt attention. I quickly sympathized with the young narrator, for she has a good heart, and I was touched by her sincerity and impetuous nature. It is a little painful to witness her willingness to believe Roy’s promises. I liked that she grows both in wisdom and patience while increasing her education.

However, I felt distressed by the damage that has been caused to Kyle over the years, as is apparent by his underlying health issues, such as experiencing emotional imbalances and diabetes. I felt Robinson to be the very definition of love and patience, yet the title of her memoir suggests the vast toll demanded by living with and “putting out fires for Kyle” as well as having to endure his bouts in prison. Worse, as his adult issues become clear, I felt grief over the way the narrator has to come to terms with Kyle’s bad choices in the kind of people he chooses to have in his life and the decisions he, and they, make.

Robinson seems to know, as she narrates, that her own life story could be a kind of salvation for others who may be living through circumstances such as she has endured. The admirable addendum titled “Emotions Parents of Incarcerated Children Endure and How to Overcome Them” is testimony to her steady realization of the power of her voice and narrative."

● Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”.

This Book's Evaluation below:

Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 5

Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 4

Production Quality and Cover Design: 5

Plot and Story Appeal: 5

Character Appeal and Development: 5

Voice and Writing Style: 5