Only the Heart Knows Why: Compelling Coming-of-Age Novelette Paints Vivid Picture of the Effects of Dysfunctional Family Life on Children

FAIRFAX, Va., Nov. 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ Bonny G. Smith's newest novel, Only the Heart Knows Why, is at once a gripping, compelling story, and a cautionary tale for those who make a life decision to bring children into the world. The protagonist is a young girl whose parents use her as a pawn in a cruel game of human chess. Told in a sometimes heartbreaking first person narrative, Norah Jane Edwards's situation represents the Dysfunctional Family at its apotheosis.

Only the Heart Knows Why is the story of a young girl growing up in exotic 1960s Miami. Six-year-old Norah Jane's life seems ordinary until one sultry night she is awakened by the sound of her parents engaged in a violent argument. The next morning, Norah Jane is stunned to see that her mother has been badly beaten. She is frightened and realizes that her life may never be the same again. For the next seven years, Norah Jane is used as an innocent human weapon by both her parents, as they battle through a bitter divorce. Norah Jane must learn to cope with a cruel and indifferent father, a loving but neurotic mother, a psychologically damaged older sister, a reluctant, alcoholic grandmother, uncaring landladies, a parade of resentful stepmothers, and the constant threat of being taken from her mother and placed into foster care.

"I wrote Only the Heart Knows Why to provide an example of what living in and coping with a dysfunctional family might be like for a child," says Bonny G. Smith, author of the book. "I have strived to depict typical dysfunctions as realistically as possible. These are things that a child might have to deal with to survive in such a situation: abuse; fear; unpredictability; conditional love; lack of boundaries; lack of intimacy; and poor or non-existent communication. Programming one's values and developing personality in such an environment may stunt emotional growth, and can lead to life-long psychological damage."

Only the Heart Knows Why is available in both eBook and paperback on
Only the Heart Knows Why

"Only the Heart Knows Why is the story of a young girl torn between her parents, and who is used as a weapon in their battles. Ms. Smith's writing is so real that it touches the reader very deeply. The scenes of the story are so vivid that one can feel the heat blanketing one's skin, see the glaring brightness of a bare light bulb in a room, hear the hum of mosquitoes in the heat."
D. M. Kearns, Ft. Lauderdale FL

"Ms. Smith's characters are real and gritty. One quickly grows to admire the curiosity and spunk of Norah Jane, the leading character. Ms. Smith's writing style compels the reader to feel genuine concern about what happens to her characters. One of the best reads in recent memory."
- S. R. Beasley, Lady Lake, FL

"Once I started reading Only the Heart Knows Why, I found it difficult to put the book down. The story moved quickly. Ms. Smith's vivid descriptions made me feel as though I were right there with the characters. I enjoyed this book immensely."
R. A. McClure, Amherst, VA

"It's been a long time since a book kept me up late thinking, 'Just one more chapter!' What a read!" K. J. Sluis, Houston, TX

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