It’s been said a man falls in love an average of three times in his life. If that’s an accurate assessment, it stands to reason two of those three must end in heartbreak.Author RjCook had the misfortune of experiencing two of his three heartaches before the age of twenty – both within the same year separated by only a few months. The Road behind Me narrates his story of lost love, a tale of a journey, and a late-in-life epiphany all predicated on a single deception that he lived with for the better part of forty years. This memoir tells how, from the summer of 1974 to the summer of 1975, he traveled from New Jersey to California to escape the pain of a broken heart, only to discover that distance did nothing to diminish his memories.A true story of the author’s failed attempt to create a new life for himself, The Road behind Me shares the adventures he encountered almost a continent away from home. It’s a story of growing up and falling in love in suburban New Jersey; of losing love and seeking refuge in the land of milk, honey, and Disney; and of returning home a defeated and forlorn road warrior-all during the time of peace and love, Woodstock, Nixon, and Vietnam.
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Reader’s Favorite Five-Stars for The Road Behind Me (The Lie of Hannah)Reader’s Favorite Five-Stars for Dream Lover and Other TalesBorn just two days before the arrival of summer, RjCook considers himself a child of the sun. Welcomed into a large, expanded family, nevertheless he experienced a lonely childhood. RjCook had questions but no one had answers, he was accused and guiltless, ambitious but thwarted. Life was a challenge to understand, and towards that endeavor he put pen to paper.Above all else, writing was anathema, but was also healing. A young man thrust into a world tougher than he was found the power of words – combinations on paper he created – to be the motivation to move forward, to succeed. Young ladies were smitten by his poetry, presented as a gift. Fellow musicians (for that was another path he chose) were enamored of his prose used as lyrical accompaniment to their compositions. Employers discovered his gift of clarity in the general text in product descriptions, instructional formats, etc.But these weren’t RjCook’s ambitions. He perceived himself as a natural-born story teller, a “bullshitter” his friends called him, so he wrote and wrote, but soon discovered a drawback to this passion: he despised his writing!While still young he knew his lack of talent would not pay the bills and with his own family to care for he searched for another life’s calling. Forklift operator, truck driver, photographer, real estate salesman, advertising, layout artist, telephone company administrator: numerous careers that offered no more than a temporary fix to a wordsmith junkie. In each pursued career path, rising to the top was easy, often too rapid. Each management position, each supervisory role RjCook held would self-destruct, mostly, by his own admission to his own restless ambition.But there was always the writing. Countless short stories, poems and random, besieged thoughts put to paper, stashed away, never to see the light of day again. He hated his writing, loathed it even. What RjCook heard in his head he could not get from his pen. But wasn’t that the idea of good writing? To never accept anything as your best?Whatever it was supposed to mean was not relevant to his accrimonious disposition. Writing was necessary, it was the opiate of his soul, the thread to his needle. It wasn’t until years later his work would find its place in a memoir of his earlier years, and as a monthly column in an online Internet magazine. But it still evoked a bitter pill RjCook swallowed to let others read his work.It is for his children, his grandchildren, and the Mrs. It is a legacy he will leave behind for them. The reason and the chosen path forward are clear: RjCook needs to write. These days, he finds much of his time engrossed with his monthly column, The Life Around Me, featured in the online magazine hREALITY Land. www.hRLand.net.Follow me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/richjcook/ or on Twitter @rjcook52