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Shooting Out the Lights

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Kim Fairley was twenty-four when she fell in love with and married a man who was fifty-six. Something about Vern--his quirkiness, his humor, his devilish smile--made her feel an immediate connection with him. She quickly became pregnant, but instead of the idyllic interlude she'd imagined as she settled into married life and planned for their family, their love was soon te Kim Fairley was twenty-four when she fell in love with and married a man who was fifty-six. Something about Vern--his quirkiness, his humor, his devilish smile--made her feel an immediate connection with him. She quickly became pregnant, but instead of the idyllic interlude she'd imagined as she settled into married life and planned for their family, their love was soon tested by the ghosts of Vern's past--a town, a house, a family, a memory. Shooting Out the Lights is a May-December love story that explores the ongoing, wrenching aftermath of gun violence and the healing that comes with confronting the past.


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Kim Fairley was twenty-four when she fell in love with and married a man who was fifty-six. Something about Vern--his quirkiness, his humor, his devilish smile--made her feel an immediate connection with him. She quickly became pregnant, but instead of the idyllic interlude she'd imagined as she settled into married life and planned for their family, their love was soon te Kim Fairley was twenty-four when she fell in love with and married a man who was fifty-six. Something about Vern--his quirkiness, his humor, his devilish smile--made her feel an immediate connection with him. She quickly became pregnant, but instead of the idyllic interlude she'd imagined as she settled into married life and planned for their family, their love was soon tested by the ghosts of Vern's past--a town, a house, a family, a memory. Shooting Out the Lights is a May-December love story that explores the ongoing, wrenching aftermath of gun violence and the healing that comes with confronting the past.

30 review for Shooting Out the Lights

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jamele (BookswithJams)

    This was an interesting memoir that was difficult to read at times. I say that because I want to note up front there is animal cruelty in here, and it is not noted up front, so be aware. I had to skip over those parts, and almost put this down because of it, but was curious how this would end so I kept going. Kim Fairley is a 24 yr old that married her best friend Vern, a 56 yr old man with plenty of issues that did not reveal themselves until a few months into their marriage. He is still grievin This was an interesting memoir that was difficult to read at times. I say that because I want to note up front there is animal cruelty in here, and it is not noted up front, so be aware. I had to skip over those parts, and almost put this down because of it, but was curious how this would end so I kept going. Kim Fairley is a 24 yr old that married her best friend Vern, a 56 yr old man with plenty of issues that did not reveal themselves until a few months into their marriage. He is still grieving the death of is 12 year old son, and could be a factor as to why he agrees to take on a troubled 11 year old boy for a couple of weeks while the boy’s mother works out the estate of his father that just passed away, and Vern does not consult Kim. This causes an inordinate amount of stress on their marriage, and this memoir addresses how she deals with that stress. I was fascinated by how she dealt with this situation, I certainly would not have reacted the way she did in the end, and as such that is why I was fascinated by this story. Thank you to She Writes Press and BookSparks for the gifted copy to review. This was released on July 27th and is available now.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Susan Z

    In this memoir, Kim Fairley shares an intimate account of one summer of her life married to Vern, a man 24 years her senior. Vern is a troubled man with a troubled past, and their love was overshadowed by Vern's loss of his son Ben a few years prior to their marriage. Kim and Vern had a worldwind romance, married quickly and soon became pregnant, however Ben's death seemed to haunt them at every turn as Vern seemed to desperately try to make up for losing his son to an accident involving a gun. In this memoir, Kim Fairley shares an intimate account of one summer of her life married to Vern, a man 24 years her senior. Vern is a troubled man with a troubled past, and their love was overshadowed by Vern's loss of his son Ben a few years prior to their marriage. Kim and Vern had a worldwind romance, married quickly and soon became pregnant, however Ben's death seemed to haunt them at every turn as Vern seemed to desperately try to make up for losing his son to an accident involving a gun. It seemed like at times Vern tried to compartmentalize and ignore the loss is his son (this is personally my go to coping mechanism) and at other times, the loss completely consumed him. This is a superbly written memoir, so much so that at times it felt like fiction, not because it was farfetched but rather because it was so engrossing and it really pulled you in. It was raw, it was real, and it was deeply disturbing. I'll be haunted by some of the events exposed in this memoir it's not for the faint of heart. I do wish Kim shared more of her early days with Vern, I wanted to fall in love with him too.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Marriage isn't a piece of cake; it takes hard work, communication, and deep understanding and connection to work it out. Our happily ever after doesn't end on getting married; I feel like our true love story begins after saying I do. This memoir talks about the newlywed struggles, the May-December relationship, first pregnancy, haunting past, sick loved ones, and discovering your true self. There are so many relatable feelings and situations that Kim felt and went through that I was like, wait, t Marriage isn't a piece of cake; it takes hard work, communication, and deep understanding and connection to work it out. Our happily ever after doesn't end on getting married; I feel like our true love story begins after saying I do. This memoir talks about the newlywed struggles, the May-December relationship, first pregnancy, haunting past, sick loved ones, and discovering your true self. There are so many relatable feelings and situations that Kim felt and went through that I was like, wait, that's how I felt or omg that happened to me. There are many lessons to learn from this beautiful story. I genuinely recommend that you guys get yourself a copy

  4. 5 out of 5

    Genie Wolfson

    Kim Fairley paints a complicated picture of her marriage to her husband, Vern, a man more than twice her age with whom she finds an immediate connection. Life in a small town, recent trauma, a new wife's enthusiasm for married life, pregnancy, and the sudden, almost inexplicable addition to the family of an 11-year-old boy for an indeterminate period of time are interwoven to make this book a page-turner. Ms. Fairley's interior dialogue as she tries to navigate the currents of married life and t Kim Fairley paints a complicated picture of her marriage to her husband, Vern, a man more than twice her age with whom she finds an immediate connection. Life in a small town, recent trauma, a new wife's enthusiasm for married life, pregnancy, and the sudden, almost inexplicable addition to the family of an 11-year-old boy for an indeterminate period of time are interwoven to make this book a page-turner. Ms. Fairley's interior dialogue as she tries to navigate the currents of married life and the descriptions of interactions with her husband, neighbors, and the young boy who drops into their lives combine to keep the reader engaged. This memoir reads like a novel and will keep the reader searching for answers to the mystery as Ms. Fairley lays out the complicated events of the first year of her marriage.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I'm definitely in the minority here but I can't rave about this book like others did. I found the whole story creepy, her husband odd and the situation with the kid bizarre. Even the author's relationships with her parents and siblings seemed off. Something about the whole premise made my skin crawl. There were some parts of the book that I liked, hence the two stars, but I was glad to get to the end. I'm definitely in the minority here but I can't rave about this book like others did. I found the whole story creepy, her husband odd and the situation with the kid bizarre. Even the author's relationships with her parents and siblings seemed off. Something about the whole premise made my skin crawl. There were some parts of the book that I liked, hence the two stars, but I was glad to get to the end.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Vickie Wellman

    this book really grabbed my attention and took me off into a small town in Ohio in the 1980's. it's an honest brave well written story of a young woman, sharing her life and life's lessons with us the readers. I highly recommend it. this book really grabbed my attention and took me off into a small town in Ohio in the 1980's. it's an honest brave well written story of a young woman, sharing her life and life's lessons with us the readers. I highly recommend it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lori Lorimer

    Kim Fairley’s memoir about her marriage to an older man is riveting. As she chronicles the early years of her marriage to Vern, more than thirty years her senior, the tension on every page is as compelling as any novel. That this is a true story makes her personal narrative even more powerful. When Kim’s new husband agrees to take the eleven-year-old son of a friend for a two-week vacation, her new marriage is exposed to stresses she never imagined. As young Stan’s vacation gradually morphs into Kim Fairley’s memoir about her marriage to an older man is riveting. As she chronicles the early years of her marriage to Vern, more than thirty years her senior, the tension on every page is as compelling as any novel. That this is a true story makes her personal narrative even more powerful. When Kim’s new husband agrees to take the eleven-year-old son of a friend for a two-week vacation, her new marriage is exposed to stresses she never imagined. As young Stan’s vacation gradually morphs into a ‘stay-cation’, his continued presence in their home creates conflicts for the newly-married couple that stretch Kim’s endurance and make her doubt her husband’s love for her. Her first pregnancy makes everything more difficult. When the situation escalates, Kim feels her marriage and the future of her unborn child is at stake. The way Kim resolved this difficulty underlined for me the importance of communication, the need for compromise, and how necessary it is for a new wife to take a stand in the interests of self-preservation. Bravo to the author. A masterful work.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    Shooting Out The Lights ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Kim Fairley was twenty-four when she fell in love with and married a man who was fifty-six. Something about Vern--his quirkiness, his humor, his devilish smile--made her feel an immediate connection with him. She quickly became pregnant, but instead of the idyllic interlude she'd imagined as she settled into married life and planned for their family, their love was soon tested by the ghosts of Vern's past--a town, a house, a family, a memory. *thank you @booksparks Shooting Out The Lights ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Kim Fairley was twenty-four when she fell in love with and married a man who was fifty-six. Something about Vern--his quirkiness, his humor, his devilish smile--made her feel an immediate connection with him. She quickly became pregnant, but instead of the idyllic interlude she'd imagined as she settled into married life and planned for their family, their love was soon tested by the ghosts of Vern's past--a town, a house, a family, a memory. *thank you @booksparks & @kimfairleywrites for the #gifted copy #SummerPopUp* This was a very interesting memoir that was difficult to read at some times. It was a raw, honest and brave well written story. Kim navigates her way through this new life, and takes the readers on quite a journey. (As always, my nonfiction reviews are based on the writing, not the story itself.)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Judith Rabinor

    I have always been fascinated by older men/younger wives couples and Kim Fairleys's memoir was a fascinating and compelling page turner- as a psychologist, what I appreciated most following her thoughts- amongst other great talents, Kim is a master at writing interior dialogue - i felt like i was inside her head as she tried to figure out the mystery of her husband's past life. Dont miss this book if you love memoirs and stories of complex marriages I have always been fascinated by older men/younger wives couples and Kim Fairleys's memoir was a fascinating and compelling page turner- as a psychologist, what I appreciated most following her thoughts- amongst other great talents, Kim is a master at writing interior dialogue - i felt like i was inside her head as she tried to figure out the mystery of her husband's past life. Dont miss this book if you love memoirs and stories of complex marriages

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Halter

    Shooting Out The Lights, Kim Fairley’s beautifully crafted memoir of her marriage to a much older man, records her struggles to come to terms with the aftermath of his son’s tragic death. While not skirting the trauma and conflict, Fairley excels at evoking humor in the most serious situations, so much so that I found myself convulsed with laughter at times.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    This is one of the best memoirs I've read in ages! The writing style, unpredictable characters, and continuous suspense remind me of "The Glass Castle," by Jeannette Walls. If you liked that book you'll love this. A young woman marries a much older divorced man who is grieving the death of his twelve year old son. Despite the age difference they seem to be very sympatico, for example, they are both interested in local history and restoring old houses. She gets pregnant with their first child, an This is one of the best memoirs I've read in ages! The writing style, unpredictable characters, and continuous suspense remind me of "The Glass Castle," by Jeannette Walls. If you liked that book you'll love this. A young woman marries a much older divorced man who is grieving the death of his twelve year old son. Despite the age difference they seem to be very sympatico, for example, they are both interested in local history and restoring old houses. She gets pregnant with their first child, and all is well until he tells a friend of his that they would, (of course!) be happy to take in her troubled eleven year old son while she (the friend) fights a protracted, seemingly unending, legal battle in another state.... Wait, what!? This is a book about marriage, expectations, grief, secrets, gun violence, and more. Enjoy!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Abbie Read

    This is such a good book! I read it twice, first for the story, then for the details of that story. it is as good as it gets exploring the mysteries of human relationships, specifically a marriage.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    The story gripped me from the beginning and because of the evocative descriptions I almost felt I was in the kitchen with Kim and Vern. This was a beautifully crafted memoir.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Shyler Landry

    I am very grateful for the opportunity to read “Shooting Out the Lights” by Kim Fairley. Her attention to detail and extremely perceptive writing provide you with an amazingly real glimpse into her life. You can see and feel the atmosphere that the author is describing. Kim does a wonderful job of taking each individual’s personal story into account to shed light on the intricacies of relationships and the way different characters navigate their lives. This book is very authentic, real, and full I am very grateful for the opportunity to read “Shooting Out the Lights” by Kim Fairley. Her attention to detail and extremely perceptive writing provide you with an amazingly real glimpse into her life. You can see and feel the atmosphere that the author is describing. Kim does a wonderful job of taking each individual’s personal story into account to shed light on the intricacies of relationships and the way different characters navigate their lives. This book is very authentic, real, and full of raw emotion with a lot of introspection about marriage, expectations, and the aftermath and grief of losing a child. I highly recommend “Shooting Out the Lights.”

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jane Dennish

    This book sounded interesting, but I feel like it was still unclear in some areas. I get that not everything was clear to the author too, but I think she could have acknowledged that better. I also wanted more on what she thought of her husband. I felt like she held back. I don’t want to judge someone’s experiences in a memoir, but I’m not sure what the point was in writing this memoir. I think memoirs are usually easy to tell, but this one was cloudy. Thanks to Booksparks for the gifted copy in This book sounded interesting, but I feel like it was still unclear in some areas. I get that not everything was clear to the author too, but I think she could have acknowledged that better. I also wanted more on what she thought of her husband. I felt like she held back. I don’t want to judge someone’s experiences in a memoir, but I’m not sure what the point was in writing this memoir. I think memoirs are usually easy to tell, but this one was cloudy. Thanks to Booksparks for the gifted copy in exchange for an honest review!

  16. 4 out of 5

    CR

    This compelling story is one that you won't forget once you finish. Family, loss, grief and more await the reader of this story. I loved this family and felt so much for them. The book based on a real story will rip out your heart. This compelling story is one that you won't forget once you finish. Family, loss, grief and more await the reader of this story. I loved this family and felt so much for them. The book based on a real story will rip out your heart.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Celia Jeffries

    Imagine this: a young woman marries the man she loves (who is twice her age and had lost his son in a gun-related accident). She quickly becomes pregnant. Before she can begin creating a nursery and doing all the pre-parenting things she is anticipating, the husband agrees to care for a friend’s 11-year-old son. The arrival of this boy, and the question of how long he will be staying with them, disrupts their world, forcing each of them to face the ghosts of their individual pasts in their own w Imagine this: a young woman marries the man she loves (who is twice her age and had lost his son in a gun-related accident). She quickly becomes pregnant. Before she can begin creating a nursery and doing all the pre-parenting things she is anticipating, the husband agrees to care for a friend’s 11-year-old son. The arrival of this boy, and the question of how long he will be staying with them, disrupts their world, forcing each of them to face the ghosts of their individual pasts in their own way. Will this marriage survive? Will this family find a way to heal? Fairley's story is captivating.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Conaway

    Compelling narrative. The author has written an account of her early adulthood that unfolds more as a mystery than a memoir; each chapter builds upon the host of unanswered questions she confronts as a mother-to-be in the small town where virtually everyone knows considerably more than she of her husband's history and the thinly-explained death of his son years before. The author's ear for dialogue is superb -- voices on paper SOUND authentic and come alive, particularly those of her much-older hu Compelling narrative. The author has written an account of her early adulthood that unfolds more as a mystery than a memoir; each chapter builds upon the host of unanswered questions she confronts as a mother-to-be in the small town where virtually everyone knows considerably more than she of her husband's history and the thinly-explained death of his son years before. The author's ear for dialogue is superb -- voices on paper SOUND authentic and come alive, particularly those of her much-older husband and his contemporaries. Highly recommended.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Set in 1982, this suspenseful story moves through themes of family tragedy, unexpected responsibility, and autistic behavior at a time it was little understood. We see the author grapple with her older husband's past. We walk the road she travels to find herself amid the din of conflicting pressures. Fairley tells her story from the perspective of the time, without the varnish of today's values and attitudes, but with full excavation of sometimes painful memories. Set in 1982, this suspenseful story moves through themes of family tragedy, unexpected responsibility, and autistic behavior at a time it was little understood. We see the author grapple with her older husband's past. We walk the road she travels to find herself amid the din of conflicting pressures. Fairley tells her story from the perspective of the time, without the varnish of today's values and attitudes, but with full excavation of sometimes painful memories.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    It didn’t take long to finish Kim Fairley’s “Shooting the Lights Out.” When I was forced to put it down, I could barely wait to get to read again. The story is almost too odd to be real, yet I could completely understand Vern and Kim’s actions, thoughts, and relationship. There is such recognizable human-ness in this book. As a bonus, underneath the story, Kim evokes an engaging sense of place, through descriptions of sounds, smells, architecture, and everyday objects.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rajiv

    [Blog]::[Youtube]::[Twitter]::[Instagram]::[Pinterest]::[Bloglovin] “Shooting Out the Lights” is a gripping memoir that stood out for me because of how psychologically creepy and atmospheric the author wrote it. The highlight of the story is Kim. The author wrote the memoir beautifully, where you see the various emotions she goes through. On the one hand, Kim has to deal with Stan and how stressed he makes her, compared to Ben while keeping Vern happy. On the other hand, she also has to deal w [Blog]::[Youtube]::[Twitter]::[Instagram]::[Pinterest]::[Bloglovin] “Shooting Out the Lights” is a gripping memoir that stood out for me because of how psychologically creepy and atmospheric the author wrote it. The highlight of the story is Kim. The author wrote the memoir beautifully, where you see the various emotions she goes through. On the one hand, Kim has to deal with Stan and how stressed he makes her, compared to Ben while keeping Vern happy. On the other hand, she also has to deal with her pregnancy and sorting things back to normal. Kim also has a complex relationship with her parents, where she feels she cannot count on them. The author told the memoir beautifully where you could empathize with her. The author also described the nuances of married life and how this unusual incident took a toll on their marriage. It was interesting to see how her relationship with Vern would proceed with Stan in the picture. The author also wrote Vern in a complex manner where you see him thinking of Ben and Caroline. Similarly, Stan also rubbed me the wrong way, and the author made the story atmosphere when she mentions setting fires or the incident with Chippie. Even the supporting characters like Ann added nicely to the story, and I liked the scenes where Ann encourages Kim. Some of the memorable moments were when Kim gets anxious about Stan and asks Vern if he has a return ticket or when she realizes that Stan is with Ann. On a side note, I also enjoyed how the author added historical tidbits about Hillsboro, like Mother Thompson and “Cradle of the Crusade.” Overall, I found “Shooting Out the Lights” a unique memoir and thought the author executed it wonderfully!

  22. 5 out of 5

    kimreadsandreads

    I love to hear people’s stories. I truly believe that everyone has a story. When that person is courageous enough to write it down and ask strangers to read it, I am usually a good audience for that. As a first-second grader my favorite section of the library was the biographies. As an adult, I enjoy reading what people have to say about their own lives, so memoirs are ideal. ⠀ @BookSparks and @kimfairleywrites were great enough to to send me Shooting Out The Lights, a memoir by Kim Fairley as par I love to hear people’s stories. I truly believe that everyone has a story. When that person is courageous enough to write it down and ask strangers to read it, I am usually a good audience for that. As a first-second grader my favorite section of the library was the biographies. As an adult, I enjoy reading what people have to say about their own lives, so memoirs are ideal. ⠀ @BookSparks and @kimfairleywrites were great enough to to send me Shooting Out The Lights, a memoir by Kim Fairley as part of a summer pop up book tour. I literally read this in a day. It was so easy to read and I was totally engrossed in this family’s lives. ⠀ Is there a part of your life, a certain season, week, or month that you keep going back to in your mind, for whatever reason? It is obvious that this particular summer impacted Kim Fairley’s life greatly and was a story she needed to tell. ⠀ This is a May- December romance that Kim recounts about her marriage to a man more than twice her age and the summer he brings the 11 year old son of an old friend to live with them. Kim isn’t shy about telling us everything she thought that summer and I appreciated her frankness. She and her new husband, Vern, had only been married a few months, she was expecting their first child, and she had idyllic dreams of this honeymoon stage of their lives when this troubled young boy is dropped in the middle of those dreams. He creates a bit of a nightmare, in my opinion. It was interesting to read and try and figure out the dynamics between this couple, then the three of them, once the boy, Stan, arrives. ⠀ Grief, communication, violence, expectations and healing all are a part of Kim’s story. Parts of it were a bit hard to read, but they are vital to trying to figure out what happened that summer in small town Ohio. ⠀ If you are as fascinated by the lives other people live and the stories they have to tell, I think you will find this a fascinating tale. ⠀ ⠀ ⠀

  23. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Havey

    This is a memoir, and a brave one at that. I kept asking myself how the author could stay married to this family, to this divorced man, whose son shot himself, thus the divorce? But none of that is ever discussed. All we know is that Kim loves Vern, who is much older, she now pregnant with his child, watching him smoke constantly and drink hard liquor every day. After a while he's on oxygen, still smoking, she further along in her pregnancy. Why doesn't she say anything? The man is slowly killin This is a memoir, and a brave one at that. I kept asking myself how the author could stay married to this family, to this divorced man, whose son shot himself, thus the divorce? But none of that is ever discussed. All we know is that Kim loves Vern, who is much older, she now pregnant with his child, watching him smoke constantly and drink hard liquor every day. After a while he's on oxygen, still smoking, she further along in her pregnancy. Why doesn't she say anything? The man is slowly killing himself. Thus, the story? It's only as you learn more about this family, you question that maybe Ben, the dead son, wanted to die.(I'm kinda kidding on the square.) But that story line is never made clear. And it's never made clear why and who Stan is, the boy who comes to live with them, the boy the narrator begs Vern to send back to his mother. The boy that shoots the dog. Could he be the boy who shot Vern's son? It was an accident, but is that why Vern feels the need to raise him? And though Fairley doesn't want this, and tries again and again to send the boy back to his mother, the entire storyline is built around: will Vern do what his pregnant new wife wants or what this woman, this mother of Stan, has asked him to do--just keep her son a little while longer. None of the people the narrator encounters, except maybe her grandparents, truly try to help her. If you enjoy reading about disfunction, if you don't mind wanting to shout at the writer to make a different decision, (I know, she lived it), this book is for you. Like I said, brave.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lois

    I loved this book! This compelling memoir spans a few months in a marriage between the author- then 25 years old and newly pregnant, and her 57-year- old husband. Kim is tall, athletic, and attractive, with a strong interest in historical preservation. Vern is in questionable health; a chain-smoker, heavy drinker, and a hardware store owner, who loves to memorize and quote poetry, and who, not incidentally, lost his young son to gun violence a couple of years ago. Problems begin when Vern, witho I loved this book! This compelling memoir spans a few months in a marriage between the author- then 25 years old and newly pregnant, and her 57-year- old husband. Kim is tall, athletic, and attractive, with a strong interest in historical preservation. Vern is in questionable health; a chain-smoker, heavy drinker, and a hardware store owner, who loves to memorize and quote poetry, and who, not incidentally, lost his young son to gun violence a couple of years ago. Problems begin when Vern, without consulting Kim, agrees to care for Stan, the 11-year-old son of a deceased friend’s widow, for two weeks. The boy is strange, and his behavior sometimes runs to violence. When his mother begs for more weeks of childcare, Vern can’t bring himself to say no. Those initial two weeks morph into more weeks, then months, and the couple’s marriage, and quite possibly their lives, are thrown into jeopardsy. The differences in the couple’s age and experience, as well as past trauma and substance abuse make it difficult for them to come to a satisfactory resolution of their upended living situation. As Kim struggles to understand why her husband is behaving the way he is and how she can change the situation, her masterful dialogue and well-crafted scenes, invite the reader to experience the story as it unfolds- almost as if s/he sat on the Fairley’s front porch or in a corner of their kitchen.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anita Wilson

    In this engaging memoir of her May-December relationship, the author unapologetically explores the stress that an 11 year old boy with behavioral issues places upon her new marriage. Ms. Fairley's husband, Vern, is 32 years older and struggles with significant physical health and emotional issues. However, it is the arrival of 'Stan' who is the troubled son of her husband's late friend, that has the potential to undermine the success of her relationship with her older husband. The way the author In this engaging memoir of her May-December relationship, the author unapologetically explores the stress that an 11 year old boy with behavioral issues places upon her new marriage. Ms. Fairley's husband, Vern, is 32 years older and struggles with significant physical health and emotional issues. However, it is the arrival of 'Stan' who is the troubled son of her husband's late friend, that has the potential to undermine the success of her relationship with her older husband. The way the author builds the layers of her discontent via exceptional interior dialog, pulls the reader into the story and excites the need to keep reading. With great descriptions of both the physical and emotional 'place' of this episode in her life, one cannot help but 'feel' her frustration while experiencing the great depth of her love for Vern. It is a tender accounting of how a very young woman had both the patience and grace, to deal with and survive a handful of acute issues that could have easily resulted in failure. This memoir provokes self-reflection and would provide a great conversation for Book Club readers.

  26. 4 out of 5

    RebeccaReviewedIt

    I sat down to read a couple pages of this book, and before I knew it, I was 70 pages in. So many times throughout the book, it feels like you’re reading a fiction, rather than a memoir. The way this child just shows up in their lives, the interaction from Stan’s mother, the relationship between Kim and Vern, Kim’s past, the death of a child, it’s all either wildly intriguing or wildly unconventional – sometimes both. You just can’t help but keep flipping the pages. What makes it even more intere I sat down to read a couple pages of this book, and before I knew it, I was 70 pages in. So many times throughout the book, it feels like you’re reading a fiction, rather than a memoir. The way this child just shows up in their lives, the interaction from Stan’s mother, the relationship between Kim and Vern, Kim’s past, the death of a child, it’s all either wildly intriguing or wildly unconventional – sometimes both. You just can’t help but keep flipping the pages. What makes it even more interesting is that this book pretty much centers on a summer with Kim, Vern, and a strange boy that comes to visit for a few weeks. What’s strange is that I could really relate to Kim, though I disagreed with many of her choices. I don’t think I could have managed being married to a man like Vern, yet she clearly loves him. If you are interested in memoirs and want to read a real life story of living an unconventional life, this was a great choice. It was a great book, and many thanks to Kim Fairley and BookSparks for my copy and letting me be a part of the summer popup! #bookstagram #RebeccaReviewedIt

  27. 4 out of 5

    Roxann

    Interesting memoir about a 24-year-old woman who falls in love and marries a 57-year-old man. While the age difference alone would merit hundreds of pages, this story is intensified by the introduction of a troubled 11-year-old boy, Stan. It is unclear why Vern, the husband, feels such an obligation to the boy or his mother, and I suspect the author never really understood this herself. Nevertheless, the boy turns the newlyweds' lives upside down. Through most of the book, Vern treats his wife, Interesting memoir about a 24-year-old woman who falls in love and marries a 57-year-old man. While the age difference alone would merit hundreds of pages, this story is intensified by the introduction of a troubled 11-year-old boy, Stan. It is unclear why Vern, the husband, feels such an obligation to the boy or his mother, and I suspect the author never really understood this herself. Nevertheless, the boy turns the newlyweds' lives upside down. Through most of the book, Vern treats his wife, Kim, like a child, "Do as I say and don't ask questions." Maybe this is the mentality of many men who were raised in the 1930-1960 time period. Or, perhaps it is more indicative of the age difference. Either way, Kim must deal with his obstinate behaviors and the out of control, abandoned pre-teen, all while being pregnant with her first child. The relationships and personalities kept me turning the pages, and I would definitely recommend to anyone who likes reading memoirs.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Natalia Weissfeld

    It's a page-turner memoir. Kim Fairley tells the story of her love and life with Vernon, a man thirty-two years her senior, and how she struggled with his tragic past. In the first chapter of the memoir, we find out that Vernon loses his son to gun violence. Years later, and already married to Kim, a kid arrives in their lives that Vernon is eager to help. But Kim, pregnant with their first child, feels this as an imposition and really wonders what lies behind Vernon's intentions. The prose is cr It's a page-turner memoir. Kim Fairley tells the story of her love and life with Vernon, a man thirty-two years her senior, and how she struggled with his tragic past. In the first chapter of the memoir, we find out that Vernon loses his son to gun violence. Years later, and already married to Kim, a kid arrives in their lives that Vernon is eager to help. But Kim, pregnant with their first child, feels this as an imposition and really wonders what lies behind Vernon's intentions. The prose is crisp and articulate but at the same time very touching. The reader can't help but empathize with everyone involved in the conflict because their motivations are legitimate and driven by love. Well written and executed. If you are in the mood for a heartfelt memoir, grab this one!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Evelyn LaTorre

    Shooting Out the Lights: A Memoir, by Kim Fairley takes us into a stressful summer in the author’s life when she is newly married and pregnant and her much older husband agrees to take in, Stan, the challenging eleven-year-old son of a friend. The protagonist describes incidents of Stan’s unusual, often delinquent, behavior, while weaving in traumas from the author's own childhood. The detailed descriptions of period architecture and midwestern plants make the book a historical and botanical gui Shooting Out the Lights: A Memoir, by Kim Fairley takes us into a stressful summer in the author’s life when she is newly married and pregnant and her much older husband agrees to take in, Stan, the challenging eleven-year-old son of a friend. The protagonist describes incidents of Stan’s unusual, often delinquent, behavior, while weaving in traumas from the author's own childhood. The detailed descriptions of period architecture and midwestern plants make the book a historical and botanical guide. Similes like, “Vern’s health was as precarious as a five-foot stack of bowling balls,” and metaphors such as, “darting through the house like a rabid bat,” delighted this reader and are sprinkled generously throughout the book. An entertaining read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Karey Getz

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Thank you @booksparks for the opportunity to read this book as part of the #summerpopup and give an honest review. Shooting Out the Lights is a memoir and I felt for her. Her much older husband treated her like a child. He was incredibly dismissive and to me it was a very odd relationship. I had to actually put this book down several times. The animal abuse that happens was too much. That kid would have been gone in a flash, no matter what anyone thought. I did sympathize with her in many ways. Thank you @booksparks for the opportunity to read this book as part of the #summerpopup and give an honest review. Shooting Out the Lights is a memoir and I felt for her. Her much older husband treated her like a child. He was incredibly dismissive and to me it was a very odd relationship. I had to actually put this book down several times. The animal abuse that happens was too much. That kid would have been gone in a flash, no matter what anyone thought. I did sympathize with her in many ways. Overall I just couldn’t get into this. Things bothered me too much.

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