from Mangoes in Paradise
Blesi and a friend set out from the beach in his hometown
in Connecticut on a hot June morning, bound for California,
on horseback. It is 1969, the apex of the sixties movement,
a time when such outrageous undertakings hardly raised an
eyebrow. He had always been uncomfortable growing up in the
affluence of Fairfield County. The wealthy lifestyles seemed
irrelevant to him. In his heart of hearts, he was certain
he should've been born in the vast American west a hundred
years earlier, and he should've grown up to be a cowboy. Powerful
emotional issues are driving this great adventure but Cam
is unaware of them. Learning as a child to prefer make-believe
to reality, he has a habit of wholly adopting grand fantasies
about who or what he is, rather than accept who he really
is. If the circumstances become too difficult or complicated
so that he’s unable to manage and sustain the fantasy,
he will quit or run away. As he embarks on the ride, he sees
himself as going off to fulfill a dream, but in reality, he
is running from a failed marriage and the painful separation
from his little boy. And, even though he believes the life
choices he makes are thoughtful, deliberate decisions, each
one is inevitably just a reaction to the failed outcome of
the one that preceded it. Gradually, his life comes to resemble
a leaf blown by the wind, as the fantasy world he’s
created and fully embraced begins to come undone, and he is
forced to face the realities of living life as it comes.
courageous memoir with an inspiring message.
Turner has written a memoir of Cam Blesi, sharing the story
of one man's transformation from living his life based on
his fantasies about who he is and who he will be to living
a life grounded firmly in reality. Within the pages of this
rousing and endearing book, you’ll find a story of adventure
unlike any you’ve read before.
telling of Cam’s story is done in an honest and heartfelt
manner leading readers to ponder how their own lives may have
turned out differently had they embarked on such a journey.
found this book to be thought-provoking and unforgettable.
With vivid and powerful descriptions it will capture and hold
your attention throughout. The stories of Cam’s life
ring true, are unique and original, and it is clear that Turner
writes from a contemplative mind.
I had intended to read this book as soon as I received it,
my husband got his hands on it first, so I had to wait until
he was done. He surprised me, however, by staying up late
two nights in a row to finish it. Not because he knew I was
waiting to read it, but because he felt it was so good he
couldn’t put it down.
in Paradise” delivers an engaging and entertaining tale
and is well worth your time to read and enjoy it.
memoirist writes of the life he’s lived and gathers
that life with words that sweep the good and the bad into
a work of art. This is a story that will matter to readers
as, with remarkable insight, it sheds light on a life transformed.