My Coyote Creek is an honest and emotional memoir told by the youngest of three children about a mother’s creative struggle to provide a normal upbringing for her children while living with an abusive sociopath of a husband.
She shields her children from the truth that is her bizarre dark reality; all the while finding imaginative ways to feed and clothe them in the poverty stricken isolation of the vast prune orchards along the banks of Coyote Creek in Santa Clara County, California.
From 1957 to 1961, the children, Sharon, 7; Dave, 5; and Jeff, 4, wallow in the majesty of this wonderland their mother has created for them while being protected from the abusive horrors she endures.
This story shows a mother’s amazing resolve to create secure bliss for her children—a childhood filled with love and creativity. Readers can expect a mind-expanding experience brimming with adventures right out of a modern-day Huck Finn scenario.
That is until the day their innocence is lost and their lives are changed forever as their idea of heaven instantly turns to a confusing and distorted view of their mother’s hell. The children witness for the first time their father’s brutality when he leaves their mother for dead on the side of the road. Without transportation or a telephone, and living in the middle of nowhere, how would they save their mother and escape to safety?
Little did they know that their mother had seen this life-threatening situation coming and had devised a plan to secretly escape in the middle of the night. With the help of relatives, the family makes the move to freedom in the small town of Morgan Hill, California--ten miles south of Coyote. Here, their lives take on new adventures as the family of four, who stuck together during the worst of times, create and build better lives.
You’ll walk with them as they emerge from the isolation of low-end poverty to become one of the founding families of Morgan Hill. You’ll cheer them on as they become known, liked, and respected members of the community giving the three children, and mother, a chance for a better life; a chance to make something for them, and make a positive contribution to society.
Although there are many struggles and failures along the way, it’s not until the end that a struggle of a different kind emerges. When the youngest son, Jeff, at the age of 50, receives a voice message from his long-forgotten tormented father while the father lies on his deathbed, the agonizing question then becomes: should Jeff return the call?
- Jeff Bradford, December 2011
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