Icy Sparks

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A good first novel well worth reading - I would like to counteract the following customer comments from "a reader in the Appalachian mountains," who was so bored by the book. His or her remarks are shortsighted, even malicious, and should not be heeded by thoughtful readers looking for good fiction.That customer gives himself (or herself) away as a small-time, limited reader by remarking against "the idea that a child of 10 years old could have such mature thoughts." In the first place, such a reader probably never encountered Huck Finn, who could have such mature thoughts at the age of 14, or Jo, who could have such mature thoughts in LITTLE WOMEN. In the second place, that reader fails to notice that the book is written by Icy Sparks as a grown-up, looking back on her early years.ICY SPARKS tells the story of how an orphaned girl in the Kentucky mountains comes to grips with a terrible affliction, the "cussing disease," that years later she will identify as Tourette's Syn! drome...
Icy Sparks' Authenticity Is The Soul of Its Truth - Icy Sparks is as unique as the place in which she lives, but unlike many of her fictional peers, she is cut of whole cloth and presented as a lovable, incorrigible, searching young girl, rather than as a predictable stereotype. So many books set in specific and unique places such as Appalachia have been written by "outsiders" who rely too much on images perpetrated by filmmakers, writers, and publishers with little or no firsthand experience of the place. The fact that Icy Sparks' creator lives in the very region (eastern Kentucky) in which the book is set lends authenticity and value to the content. Icy is not a stereotype at all, and neither are her neighbors and family and friends. She is as universally unique as is each and every reader who will encounter her. In segments where the story could have dissolved into cliche, Rubio has beautifully avoided the temptation. A good example is the tent revival scene. It would have been easy to choose to let this...
Excellent use of fiction to depict Appalachia/mental health - Rubio depicts the culture of Appalachia and the mystification of mental illness as displayed by the young lady with Tourette's Syndrome. Still a mystery to many health care providers, but an even greater mystery to the laity. What a beautiful story of the cruelties of misunderstanding the health of others, more so the joy of overcoming a debilitating illness. Congratulations to another Appalachian writer with the courage to address such an issue and the intelligence to research the diagnosis and bring it to our attention. I will look forward to future writings of this talented writer, for it is through story telling that life's concerns are brought to our attention.