Book 1 - Shep Harrington, Smalltown Mysteries
Alone on a bridge staring into the dark water...
He was not born Noah Waters, but constant rejection often has a way of encouraging one to walk away from everything they have known while giving birth to the person they are meant to be. This is Noah's story...
I was a sixteen-year-old runaway when I worked my way to the edge of the Jackson River Bridge and peered at the moonlit water swirling below. To be fair, I wasn't an ordinary sixteen-year-old. I had an affliction akin to autism that left me with fragmented memories of my childhood, memories that inspired nightmares filled with demons that tormented me while I slept and awoke me screaming in the dark void of my room. Even I understood that I had few choices, and all were bad. There was nothing for me on the side of the river I had come from, and I had no reason to believe that the other side of the river offered anything better. Logically, jumping seemed a way to break the tie. The stalemate only broke when I heard a voice emanating from the darkness. The voice belonged to a man wearing a hooded garment that shadowed his face, a man who chose to live on the grounds of an old monastery with a dozen cats. The moment he stepped from the darkness my life began to pivot. I first learned to trust him, then love him. He put me on a path toward a future I never imagined possible that night as I stood on...The Jackson River Bridge.
AN EXCELLENT READ!
“In The Jackson River Bridge: A Memoir by Noah Waters, author Elliott Light takes the reader on a poignant exploration of memory and development. From the internal perspective of the main character, the reader can feel and see the daily struggles of someone who is trying to cope with a family and society that has little empathy for his position as an outsider. Jeff Cutter tries to cope, to fit in, and simply to survive despite his unexpected and disconcerting responses to normal social cues. While society often demonstrates little tolerance for those who don't meet normal expectations, Jeff Cutter doggedly pushes forward to learn strategies to fit in as well as to discover who he really is. This book pushed all my buttons. I laughed. I was angry about the abuse he received from family and strangers. I felt triumphant at his successes, and disturbed by his confusion and despair. No child should have to struggle as he did to reach adulthood and to discover his own goodness, his own soul. For all of his difficulty in relating to people due to his autism, Jeff Cutter eventually discovered his own humanity and connection with people.
The idea that Jeff wasn't finished and that strangers committed to helping him find himself and a more comfortable way of being is remarkable to me. That sort of kindness and investment of people in the well-being of others is special."