From start to finish, reading Evidence of Insanity is a jaw dropping experience. How have we managed to live our lives and not known people like Carol existed? She is someone that has laughed her way through adversity. She has fought her way from and to poverty two to three times and kept on trying. She has majored in and mastered the art of kicking ass, having at it and hissy fits and relished in the fact that her Mama told her it was ok. Therefore, it was. Her depictions of her childhood bounce our emotions back and forth from hilarious to heart breaking tragedy. Before we have time to catch our breath on the way down, she works us back up the scale. Carol's hurricanes are not to be missed, nor her episodes with both friendly and not so friendly ghosts. Do not miss her Daddy confronting "the family ghost". If you have a lively sense of humor, you may find yourself on the floor with her. She is a master at making us tense up and laugh out loud at the same time. She bounces our emotions around like we are basketballs.
Between the laughing and the crying, you realize Piner's ability to love is intense...and deeply loyal. . Her experiences with men and animals take you right into her heart. You feel her love and pain as if you were standing beside her. She makes you a part of the book. And, you do not want to break free. You begin to wonder what it must be like to be able to feel so intently, then you begin the realize what a curse it must be when things begin to go wrong, as they often do in life. More so in Piner's life than any I have ever encountered. I feel like I know her, and I like her. Her character portrayal is so strong that it's like you have met her in person.
It is next to impossible to put this book down. Heaven forbid there should be anyone in the room with you while you are reading it. If there is, you are constantly saying "Listen to this..." while you recite pieces and parts of the book to them. Unknowingly,you are drawing them into the story with you when they start asking what are you laughing about so hard, and you continue to tell them what is happening in the book. Long before you are finished reading it, they ask for the book. You will be to tell them to buy it. You are not letting go of your copy. When you finally make yourself set it aside, you cannot wait to finish it. Do not decide to pick this book up late at night. You will not put it down until two or three in the morning and when you finish it, you hate it. You don't want it to end. You find yourself looking around for her next book. Right that minute. It is amazing. Finally, you realize you can't sleep because you are so caught up in your emotions. You pick it right back up. If you are a die hard fan, like I have become, you start to read it all over again. I have read it three times and have carried it over 6000 miles.
Her book is a full speed-a-head romp through the life of a Southern girl with a heart the size of Texas. Using her Mama as her muse, she dances shamelessly through all that life can throw at her. Along the way, we get glimpses of that special kind of insanity only families can provide and Carol insists we laugh OUT LOUD! It is action packed storytelling at its best, full of those "can you believe what just happened?" moments, and stories that resonate with the pathos of life's curve balls. She details and defines for us the true meaning behind what every therapist, priest or good friend meant when they told us out parents "did the best they could", especially our mothers. So, when Carol's Mama puts her size 5 foot down with a resounding "No More" to a marriage full of adultery and abuse, we want to applaud. What happens next sends the insanity meter off the grid, but her Mama remains steadfast in her choice between bad and worse. Carol's life thus becomes a universal response to her Mama's struggles. We witness how "No More" morphs into "Hell No, Don't Even Go There!" and it becomes our struggle as well.
Carol is a natural born storyteller. Her story is our story-crazy as hell and ultimately timeless. She insists on living out loud, reminding us that there is healing in the telling. This book has all the ingredients of a best seller.
Evidence of Insanity can be found on all the normal book-seller websites. Since it is not published by a well known publisher, you will not find it in book stores. Some smart publisher ought to pick this book up and run with it. It is going to be a best seller and should be made into a movie. Carol ought to be the one to play herself. She is the only one who could pull it off.