Once Upon my Innocence
Review by Rox Burkey
Ms. Vandergriff uses vivid description as she shares the quaint southern community and the trials faced by the teenager, Aubree. The quiet little town is close knit with family and faith at the center of every decision.
Aubree is depicted as a typical youth excited about everything life offers from working at the store or being a part of the local talent show. Over the course of the story the meaning behind family is enhanced as her understanding of God grows with each challenge she faces.
Certainly, a defining aspect is the tornado strike and the devastation it leaves as its path cuts down homes, farm animals, and livelihood resulting in some very poor choices. Aubree struggles to understand why God would let bad things happen to good people. The lessons she learns are difficult to the inexperienced. One of the vivid challenges comes out when Don corners Aubree, creating a fear in her that is hard to resolve, let alone forgive.
“…Don suddenly appeared. He grabbed her and threw her against the wall.
He began to kiss her hard, holding her arms tight and pinning her against the wall so she couldn’t move. Still pressing against her with all his strength, Don ran one of his hands up her shirt and into her bra.
Aubree was panicking. He was hurting her, and she was no match for his strength…”
With the help of her family and her faith, she forgives Don. This defining moment helps move her forward toward a stronger bond with God. Learning the positive which can be found when tragedy is survived is a positive story focus. Suitable for Teenagers and beyond who enjoy some of the charm of small towns in the south.
Lea Ann married a young law student and they began their own law firm. She worked beside her husband for 26 years until his untimely passing. This is when she began to focus on her career as an author. Left to raise her two daughters alone, she looked to God for guidance. Through His inspiration, she began writing novels.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in film and has expanded into screenplays. Lea Ann writes a variety of genres and has received multiple official selections and awards for her writing of fiction novels, TV scripts, short scripts, and feature screenplays.
Lea Ann writes from the heart and with a purpose. She easily admits, “God has prepared and trained me for this moment when I am called to step out on faith and follow the dreams He has laid in my heart!”