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A Place To Belong -- Author Tells Fictionalized Tale Of His Harrowing Childhood On The Road
Almost everyone longs for a place where they fit in, a place where they feel safe and loved. For most people, their families provide this security, but Paul Miller had to find it out in the world and in his own heart. In his new novel, A Place to Belong, based on true events, he tells a story of a childhood of abuse and adolescence on the road in constant search for self worth and faith in a cruel world.
Set in the years following World War II, the book opens as Miller, 8, peers from the top of the stairs as a raucous teenage party takes place below him. His sisters' party becomes the last memory from his idyllic childhood. Forced by his cold father to leave behind his Michigan home and the rest of his family, Miller embarks on a disjointed, zigzagging trek across the states with his mother. The three of them stumble from the orange groves of Florida to the golden coast of California, but Miller has no idea why, and his pleas for an explanation are met with vicious retribution. His father's tenuous grip on reality becomes as changeable as the landscapes through which they travel.
Along the way, Noah, a wise fisherman, shows Paul that God isn't some imperious judge sitting on top of a throne, but can become your best friend, a buddy you can talk to. "But can such a simple view account for all the misery Paul experiences?"
Although sadness and confusion hangs around Miller, he refuses to let it bog him down. He is a fighter. At each stop on his journey, he happens into adventure with a new friend. From scaling buildings in Boston to hopping rooftops in Detroit, Miller explores life and the purpose of evil that rests in the world and in his own home in the form of his father. When his mother suddenly passes away, Miller scurries from his father's clutches and hits the road. His life is dictated by bus fare, the kindness of strangers, the deviant desires of filthy motorist and the kiss of a young girl as Miller pines for a home that no longer exists. Back and forth across the country, Miller stares into the debilitating effects of hatred and holds dearly to the wisdom within simple words. Penniless on the side of a highway in California, he finds rock bottom and discovers a revelation about life and his place within it.
A moving story, A Place to Belong, finds a powerful tale of triumph, love and determination amidst true childhood memories littered with abuse, hatred and sorrow.
Through his book, A Place to Belong, Paul Miller hopes, in some small way, will reach out and help people with similar problems and make them understand that; "Hey, maybe I'm not so bad off after all. Maybe, just maybe, there really is a way out of this dilemma."
This is my first novel and I wanted to write it desperately for 50+ years. But, bearing one's soul to the world can be a very scary adventure.
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