Description

After confiding in a friend and coworker who was seeing a therapist, a seemingly normal, middle-aged woman decides to take her teenage son to a psychologist to work on his anger issues. She thinks that she has lived a rather lackluster life, with an understanding that if she feels a bit “touched,” it is only because “everybody is a bit touched.”

 

During her therapy visits with her son, David, she learns that the therapist is more interested in her, and begins therapy on her own, only to discover that her uninspiring life is that way because of repressed memories, caused by a series of trauma-ridden experiences from long ago. Her therapist introduces her to her Safe Room, a magical place, where she discovers that there exist many personalities wrapped inside of her mind, invading and suppressing it, all with stories of their own intertwining lives to share.

 

She learns through a combination of hypnosis and extremely vivid flashbacks, just how distinct each of these unique individuals has meticulously maintained her sanity or insanity. She is jolted, tossed, and relentlessly bombarded with one startling revelation after another, until the final revelation, which threatens to send her toppling over the edge into complete insanity.


 



The Story Behind This Book
For C. Alease (age 55) of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania the love of writing and the dream of publishing her own fictional novel were constants in her life. The problem was her hectic life of balancing work, school and family always seemed to get in the way of her plans to do it—-until now. It isn’t that her responsibilities are less today—she works full-time as an IT Manager in Trenton NJ, an active member of three national honor societies, has a busy family life and just finished up her B.S. last year with a 3.9 GPA. What’s changed is she realized she made time for everything else in her life besides her passion to write. It’s this self awareness that gave Ms. Alease the focus to finally channel her creativity and write her first novel called The Gatekeeper. Published by CreateSpace and available on Amazon.com, the protagonist of the story is a woman who suffers from dissociative personality disorder to protect her from her childhood. The novel explores her decision to go into therapy and slowly unlocks the truth that shaped her vast and conflicting personalities. By delving into the past, the main character is brought to reality and must come to terms with the secrets her mind chooses to forget. The novel is an insightful and humorous journey of self-preservation and actualization, where readers are drawn closer to the truth in their own lives by gaining a better understanding of how their own experiences are catalysts for their behavior. Our protagonist’s complex personalities take the reader through a literary odyssey to emerge with greater clarity and understanding of their own lives. "The Gatekeeper’s plot twist was a shocker that I didn’t see coming! The book’s unique combination of heartbreak, intrigue, humor and self consciousness made it a page turner that I couldn’t put down. It hit a personal nerve and made me think how I would handle the main character’s plight if her experiences happened to me…the author should be congratulated on a great job!" —Monica O'Rourke, Editor Publisher Page: https://www.createspace.com/Customer/EStore.do?id=3404756 Press Page: http://bumblebee.cadsmith.net/index.html


Praise and Reviews

Fran Lewis, reviewer, Premiere Writers (www.premierewriters.com) “One of the best thought provoking books I have ever had the honor of reviewing: The Gatekeeper by C.Alease.

“When you put together the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle they are supposed to fit together without any spaces in between them. They create a picture that the artist who made the puzzle wants the person putting it together to complete. But, when the pieces are placed on a board or a table that causes them to move apart and become small fragments or parts of a whole you have what happened to our main character in this novel: A fragmented or disassembled mind that no longer can function on its own. Dissociative identity disorder was formerly referred to as multiple personality disorder. A person with this disorder can have two or more distinct personalities and alter identities. These identities often overtake the person’s behavior and governs his or hers actions. Such is the case of our narrator in this very important novel that brings to light an illness that many people do not often realize they have.

”As we meet our narrator at the beginning of our story she is concerned about her son and takes him to see a prominent psychiatrist. But, after meeting with him and speaking with our narrator, he realizes that the problem is not with the son but with her. Upon entering the office of this doctor and having to wait to see him, she becomes enraged and loses control over her behavior because he is late. As a result he told her she needed help.

“Dissociative disorder is will cause the person to have many personalities. The person is often not aware of these different identities and as a result will exhibit different mannerisms, moods, social preferences and attitudes. In the case of our narrator as she enters therapy for the first time, the doctor has her imagine herself in a beautiful garden and entering a room and creating the scenes herself. In each session and in each scene that is described, the narrator is in what is called the Safe Room where nothing can really harm her, but where she learns to understand and relive her past.

“The many personalities are varied and are not so different from the many moods that we often encounter ourselves during our lifetime. As a child our narrator was abused, molested, abandoned and beaten by the grownups in her life and by other family members including her first two husbands. The author introduces the reader and the narrator to her first alter identity which she so aptly names Little Me. Little Me is our narrator as a young child and she relates to the reader many incidents that happened which triggered her bouts of anger, regression, fear and despair. Little Me is what the doctor says is the best part of her. However, she is only one personality. We meet the Masculine One who is protective and tries to help her when she is beaten or tortured by her cousins and brothers.


“Everyone feels down and out at times and as if life is not worth living, which would describe another personality that comes to light called Sick and Tired. When she is feeling like life is too much for her, this personality comes out and many others too. Each personality or altered state relates an incident or event in the narrator’s life as a child, wife or adolescent that helps the reader understand why she feels so despondent and why her life was so difficult and hard for her to cope with.

“Abuse of any kind whether physical, sexual or mental is wrong and needs to be punished. However, each time she is hurt, hit or treated wrongly by her ex-husbands or family she does nothing to fight back and feels that maybe she is the cause of their anger and finds herself hurt and conflicted. She never speaks out and she never tells on her cousins or friends when they touch her or hurt her. When she goes to her grandmother’s house she is scared and frightened and feels all alone when no one hears her cries and pleas for help when they do things to her -- and the cats; that you will have to read for yourself to understand the gravity of what happened to her.

“There is a part of everyone that wants to be loved and cared for. There is a part of everyone that wants to be perfect and feel that they can handle and control situations. Therefore, we met the Perfectionist who helped her get dressed for work and Mushy who finds the good in everything. But, what she does not realize is that Little Me, which is the narrator as a child and who finally progresses in age in order to help deal with many of the earlier issues that she faced growing up, is not separate from her. Everything that each personality does affects the others. Each action and reaction affects each one of them and problem is to help her gain control of herself and not to defer to the other personalities when something is hard for her to handle.

“Substance abuse, stress, pain or a headache can trigger a change among identities as we see when the narrator has problems at work dealing with a difficult boss and her home life when she feels her new husband might be cheating on her or when the other personalities rehash events that took place in her past marriages.

“Our narrator wants to explain what happens to her. ‘I am aware of what is happening to me and I am aware of my many personalities. I am trying to find a balance in my life but it is difficult for me to separate myself from my other selves. I experience many more extremes of dissociation and I find it hard to tell the difference between reality and fantasy the present and the past. I have a problem between safety and danger and often find myself taking risks that I should never have taken. I have had too many experiences with men, hence the Trollop, a personality that I am not proud of but nonetheless is part of me and my coping with feeling needed. But, who am I and what is my role in all of this you will have to read for yourself. Who is the Gatekeeper and how does this personality or person control what enters my mind you will learn when you read this book. Little me will tell you what the Gatekeeper is my normal for the world to see. It is who I try to be on a daily basis or the front that I put up at work and the face that my family sees when I am at home. But the voices in my head are sometimes so loud and the one that is often the loudest is the Chatterbox who relates many of the incidents that happened to me.’

“To learn more about the Gatekeeper and what finally happens to our narrator and whether  she ever learns to deal with her position in her own fragmented mind, you will have to read this groundbreaking novel.

“Entering the Safe Room at each session she meets her many personalities, which create havoc, discord and dissention.  At the end of each session the doctor calls upon four angels and Jesus to embrace and envelope the altered states and then her in order to create a safety haven and peace within her.

“Like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle of a mirror with distorted images, such is the mind of our narrator who cannot seem to get the pieces to remain in place and the images that she sees in the mirror to be one- Just Hers.

“What happens at the end will surprise and shock the reader. What conclusions will be drawn as to the end result for our narrator you will have to read for yourself. The answers are all there but they might surprise you. As Sick and Tired says: This journey will not be a crystal stair. Crystal is fragile and is transparent. People are not transparent and everyone has substance and worth. Everyone has a best part of them that won’t break and needs to be praised and cared for and brought to light. Poor self-esteem, poor self-worth and no support or love can turn a whole child into a fragmented jigsaw puzzle.

“This book is a must read for everyone. Parents need to understand what can happen when a child needs to be heard and is not. Everyone has a voice and our narrator’s deserves to be heard.

“I give this book Five Stars for a Five Star Book!”

 

“First, your writing is absolutely beautiful. I love your style and you are extremely adept at painting a picture that a reader gets into and feels right there. You are extremely vivid and that made it enjoyable to read the language.

“I got from this book that it is a story of a woman finding out, learning to accept, and live with all of the many facets of her personality and finding a peace with it…I could write more about the triumph of it. IT WAS TRULY AMAZING!!!!!!!!”  The Gatekeeper By: C. Alease is definitely a must read. I have actually read it more than once. The first time I fell in love with the writer's language and facility in weaving a beautiful story. I then re-read the book because the complexity of the story and the main character's mental illness was simply brilliant. She has an easy style that is very accessible! What a triumph of a first novel. Can't wait to see what is next!” – Amina Robinson, “Jermaine, from the movie, “Precious.”

 

J. Gibson, Amazon.com reviewer –“The novel `The Gatekeeper' by C. Alease is a brilliant and powerful first novel. It is RIVITING... POWERFUL... ABSORBING... INTRIGING... COMPELLING... and it doesn't stop there.... It gains momentum in the beautiful subtly of description; the characters come to life in the course of giving the reader one of the most realistic accounts of insanity or normalcy. There is a stream that keeps the story moving while the reader remains on edge as the characters unfold and wrestle through their personal crisis.

“C. Alease is a master storyteller. She writes with incredible power and insight about the mind and the capacity for survival. She has an `ear' for dialogue and the visual sense of painting a picture and a place. C. Alease's easy flowing style and her skillful use of multiple characters and multiple viewpoints adds to the novel's potency and contributes an intense authenticity to the climax.

“I am in anticipation of C. Alease's next novel. She deserves to be recognized as an upcoming BEST Novelist.”

 

Hats off to C. Alease on her first novel!!

"The Gatekeeper" is a beautifully written story that will deeply affect those who read it. C. Alease gets to the heart of a serious issue with wit and humor and will take the reader from laughter to awe! This insightful and provocative novel will be difficult to put down.  I look forward to more works from this author. –M. Rodriguez


"The Gatekeeper twist was an excellent one and one I didn't see coming! Great job. And having the Gatekeeper trying to hold it all together ... it was heartbreaking at times.  I actually began to imagine what it would be like if something like that should happen to me... the author should be congratulated on a great job."  —Monica O'Rourke

 

Vanessa Richardson, Dream 4 More Reviewer

This is an impressive debut novel!   In “The Gatekeeper,” C. Alease writes a riveting, believing, and heartfelt story dealing with a mental disorder.  I was very impressed with C. Alease’s writing style, which is mature and refreshingly thought-provoking.  This novel is themed and character driven, even still the story is easy to read; as each character’s personalities are understood and are climactic. The Gatekeeper takes us on a journey of women dealing with dissociative personality disorder.

 

"The Gatekeeper" opens up with the main character seeking counseling for her young son. The tables suddenly turn; as she discovers that it is she who would need counseling. This is where the journey of self-discovery and lessons learned begins. One of the many lessons is deciphering between what is real and what is not real. C. Alease brilliantly reveals the “why of,” these characters’ existence; as their presence stems from repressed events, that had or has happened in the protagonist’s life. I would certainly love to read her next release.

 


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About C. Alease
C. Alease
Born Cynthia Alease Davis, in New York City, NY, C. Alease Smith is a resident of Philadelphia, PA and attended the Philadelphia public schools.  She has been writing since the ag More...