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News & Reviews

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PRAISE FOR UNIQUELY STELLA

Michaelene (Mickey)

Goodreads

July 10, 2020 

*****

As a voracious reader, I am always looking for interesting subject matter where I will not only be entertained but also be enlightened. This book provided both. I fell in love with the characters. The dialog was both entertaining and heartbreaking. As the parent of a disabled child, I was completely unaware of the history behind the services people with disabilities receive today

Jada

December 7th, 2019

*****

Uniquely Stella is creatively written with humor and a bit of drama. Sadly, the way parents were told to abandon their children born with disabilities was the norm during the mid-20th century. The book follows Stella, the main character, through her adult years and how she coped with raising three girls (one having Down Syndrome), the oldest being a brat, and the youngest just being adorable, and the girls’ father leaving them all, because he could not deal with a daughter who had Down Syndrome. Stella forms endearing friendships that last her lifetime. This beautifully written book is a must-read!

Phyllis 

Amazon review

May 31st, 2020

*****

Lovely book about a time gone by and the story of a young woman whose unexpected path created a vision that laid groundwork for the future of special education. Special read, really enjoyed the character developments and descriptive backdrop. I highly recommend it for a personal read and/or an educational book selection in school.

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Mike

 Playwright, Artist, and Owner of ART OF HAIR

Vancouver, Washington

GLORIOUS DREAM TO READ!

*****

I finished reading UNIQUELY STELLA today.  What a glorious dream to read.  Some time it would be fun to know how much of the plot and how many of the characters are true to life.  It is truly a wonderful portrait of redemption.  Among many other things, I absolutely loved the episodic structure.  The author is the queen of plot development.  She developed some very wonderful characters, and I love that their natures are generally innocent and sweet.  It’s interesting, too, that the characters of Richard and Kathleen are just being themselves and incapable of being anything more.  The vignettes described are punctuated with understanding.  The two Mrs. Ensigns in the hospital was totally hilarious and infuriating at the same time.  The descriptions of the institution was spot on.  The author makes all the points subtly yet deliberately, all without vulgarity.  I must also say that I was totally impressed with the author’s ability to pace and manage crowd scenes without losing the focus.  That is not easy to do. There is just enough detail and color to paint the picture and keep the lines moving.  She is also great at building sympathy for broken people who would be easy to hate.  Mrs. Fox is a brilliant character.  People don’t often stop to ask why someone would be so mean spirited.  It takes a sensitive person to dare to peer into the heart of a wounded soul and mend the damage.  But that is who Stella is and was.  One can’t pick and choose who to respect when it comes to living your truth of tolerance.  You must take the good with the bad, even within ourselves .  In the end, we realize there is no separation of these opposites.  It’s not one thing or another.  It’s just human. There is a lot of heart in this story and by the time Wills proposes, you want to applaud and cheer because we all deserve to be happy and respected.  This book is such an inspiring portrait of human kindness.  I hope someday that this story will be made into a movie .  What a great way to promote tolerance and diversity.  Memories like this are a testament to the continued evolution of the human experience. 

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Mary *****

Meet Stella. She is the friend, partner, parent, teacher, and citizen activist our world desperately needs. This gifted writer takes us along on the adventure of a woman who lives her life with determination and integrity “No matter what!”.
You’ll be inspired by this truly uniquely told story.

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Julie M

(GoodReads review)

*****

This is a book about a personal story of dealing with services for a handicapped child in the past. It is very well written and is a story well worth reading. The author has worked with Special Education students in the past and is very knowledgable about what is needed to provide education services for all children, regardless of their capabilities. But this is a story of a personal struggle, a story of a woman who finds support and humor in her daily life. The characters are memorable; the history is important to hear. I highly recommend this book as a good read!

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Red City Review

★★★★★   

March 20th, 2020

★★★★★ 

 

April 1st, 2020

★★★★★ 

 

Uniquely Stella by Deborah M. Menenberg follows a young mother of three, whose life is unexpectedly upended when her husband leaves her. Telling her own story through a variety of amusing anecdotes, Stella first recounts her journey from Chicago to California, where she met her future husband working a job—for just a single day—at a local drive-in restaurant. (Turns out, roller skates didn’t agree with her.) Along the way, Stella also contends with issues of racial discrimination, serving as a stalwart ally for her African American friend, Veronica. Stella and Veronica handle it the only way they know how—with humor, determination, and a tendency to make up new “laws” in order to convince people to do the right thing. Later on, Veronica rallies to Stella’s side when it turns out her middle daughter, Donna, who has Down syndrome, will not be admitted to school because the faculty is not equipped to teach her. Through sheer grit and grace, Stella and Veronica manage to transform their town and help pave the way for further social change across the country.Uniquely Stella is a charmingly retro slice-of-life with a winning lead, which will undoubtedly appeal to fans of the popular TV show, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Stella’s contagious sense of humor infects everyone she meets, and it will have a similar effect on readers, too. Furthermore, Menenberg rather impressively manages to give equal shrift to multiple social injustices that plagued the United States during the 1950s and ’60s—and manage to persist in some form even today. While Stella frequently champions racial and female equality, her chief topic of concern is helping to build a better world for her learning disabled daughter. The heart of this novel pumps fiercely, and Stella’s resolute optimism is a poultice for today’s troubled times.

NOMINATED FOR FAN FAVORITE

Red City Review put Uniquely Stella up for nomination for the Fan Favorite category in the 2019 competition. 

 

FIRST-PLACE WIN FOR UNIQUELY STELLA!
Uniquely Stella by Deborah Menenberg takes home first place honors in the Fan Favorite category in Red City Review’s 2019 awards competition.

*****

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