Book Review Curveballs
Book Reviewer: Samantha Jafar
Author: Catherine A. Mardon
Catherine Mardon is placed as the central character of the book “Curveballs”. What’s remarking about this work is that the vulnerability displayed in the words of the author. We are able to witness the struggles she faces after the life-changing events that cause her to spiral down, but we are also able to learn that there can be happiness found in those struggles and that time is the best way to heal spiritually. When reading, the soft tone of the narration guides the reader through her journey from her childhood to her difficult journey as a lawyer who had to confront a group of white supremacists. We learn that Catherine, during her childhood, had a very close relationship with her father. Born in a family where she was the only girl and surrounded by older brothers, Catherine grew up to be a tomboy to the dismay of her mother who placed a lot of expectations on her daughter early on. Indeed, as a devout catholic, Catherine had aspirations of becoming a nun and devoting her life to the Church. Her mother was against it as she wanted her to pursue better goals such as becoming a doctor or a lawyer.
There was always a discord in their bond as the author felt that she had done everything to make her mother happy and her wishes were never taken seriously. Despite this, Catherine was ambitious and successful in her career as a lawyer. She would help farmers with legal issues concerning their farms and land. Her work gave her a sense of worth where she felt that it was her duty to help out her clients, and this meant as far as being involved with the leader of a white supremacist group. Indeed, the reason for this was that the leader would try to scam the farmers into going bankrupt over their farms. She knew that she was putting herself in a dangerous position, but her professional duty made her do it despite the risks that she would later meet on and change her life. A remarkable moment in the story was when the event when she went to consult a priest she was well acquainted with and revealed to him about having to testify against the leader in court. Knowing it was dangerous, he told her not to do it, but Catherine refused to explain that if she didn’t go against these people then no one would be able to. It took a lot of courage for her and this just illustrates how society fails to face issues such as these. Catherine, unfortunately, got stabbed as retaliation by the group and suffered several losses after the attack.
Struggling with disability and PTSD, she was in a slump for a period where she learned to come to terms with what happened to her, and slowly the lawyer started healing with the help of therapy sessions with a nun. The story stays realistic as it illustrates that nothing ever goes back to normal after such situations and that happiness can be found in the small things. Catherine had to move away from her home, as the white supremacist group was still following her and causing issues in her hometown. She did find love despite all her struggles and is living a happy life as she still learns to live with the changes those events brought to her.