Starkishia: Estrella (Memoir)

Starkishia (1)Starkishia: Estrella is a memoir about child abandonment, child abuse, dysfunctional teen parenting practices, and how a young woman came to terms with her past,  and discovered new beginnings. This is Starkishia’s debut work.

Starkishia is the co-author of Mary’s Story & Song 

*** Publication date: Sunday, May 25, 2014 ***

“An appalling childhood is without a doubt difficult to overcome, but survival is achievable for a child with a mighty will, who chooses to conquer his/her demons.”  

Meredith Coleman McGee

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untitled (4)SMALL PRINT 5″ x 8″ Starkishia: Estrella Oct 20, 2014

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http://www.blogtalkradio.com/livelovelaugh/2014/06/17/tuesday-talk-with-dr-meredith-starkisha-rountree-and-aimmee-kodachian Listen to Starkishia’s Live Love Laugh Radio Interview

Press PLAY to hear Starkishia’s interview with Dr. Henderson

Meredith Etc Press release Starkishia: Estrella

100_2871Advance Praise for Starkishia: Estrella

“We hear a lot about the undocumented Immigrants and the Black underclass. Yet, most of us understand little about both. In order to understand both issues, read this book.”

James Meredith, the first Black graduate from Ole Miss, Three Years in Mississippi, A Mission from God: A Memoir and Challenge for America….

“Starkishia Estrella is her name. And while Estrella means star in Spanish….the light Starkishia builds from her life’s story feels more like a lighthouse…built on crushed rock hardened by the cement of survival. Star’s lighthouse is as much a beacon of hope that her lost children will find her as it is a light for others to avoid the lethal rocks of selfhatred and revenge. In the end it is the graces of forgiveness that earn Starkishia her passage to new beginnings. And her path to forgiveness makes the reader, no matter their background, better for entering this amazing woman’s life.”

Maria Varela, Writer, Photographer and Educator

“Consider navigating life down a spiraling birth canal spit out into utter darkness onto the edge of a mammoth cliff, alone. And as you desperately cling to the slippery slopes, every sound you hear you believe is someone coming to pull you to safety, but they only push you closer to doom. How one champions such an existence void of love and overwhelming deceit can best be answered by Starkishia, Estrella. It is her story. And we are grateful to God she lived to tell it. Star puts our complaining to shame.”

Alice Thomas-Tisdale, Publisher, Jackson Advocate

“Starkishia exhibits great courage in unveiling the raw, sordid details of a way of life many people never see.”

Cynthia Leavelle, Co-author, Plantation Christmas Wedding  

Forward

It is an honor to write the forward for this special memoir as my background is in the field of psychology, not literature! And so I read Starkishia’s story looking through the lens of a psychologist, diagnosing family patterns and analyzing the different characters.

I was impressed by Starkishia’s writing ability and her willingness to share the most intimate details of her traumatic childhood with unflinching honesty. Her courage and insight are admirable. Starkishia spared no detail as she described her early life with an abusive mother whose behavior toward her first born can only be described as horrifying.

Starkishia embodies resilience which is a psychological term that refers to an innate ability possessed by a fortunate few allowing them to survive tortured childhoods to become functioning adults.

Her childhood was a nightmare due to the physical, psychological and emotional abuse meted out by her toxic mother. Starkishia’s mother would perform a weekly ritual where her siblings were told they needed to report Star’s supposed sins, and they would make some up to stay in mama’s good graces. Mama would cast her own sins upon Starkishia and then mercilessly punish the innocent adolescent for being a “whore.”

Scapegoating is another psychological term that is pertinent to understanding this family. The term comes from the ancient Hebrews who would once a year take a goat and symbolically cast all of their sins on it.  The goat would then be set free and stoned to death, taking all of their sins away.

Starkishia’s mother chose her to be the family scapegoat in order to ignore her own sick behavior. Scapegoats are often the most psychologically healthy members of the family and Starkishia surely was.

While Starkishia was the scapegoat in her family, she did have a loving, sane grandmother who tried to protect her. Psychologists look for at least one loving sane person in the life of a child to mitigate the harm from abuse. We rejoice when there is that special one because we know the prognosis is much more hopeful for recovery. This saintly grandmother gave Starkishia unconditional love and was her saving grace.

Starkishia struggled to survive. Her mother threw her in the streets when she was just 14 and she had to fend for herself. Her hateful mother lurked in the periphery of her daughter’s life ready to tear down or take away whatever her oldest child managed to accomplish. Yet Starkishia survived to tell her tale of redemption.

Her story ends with forgiveness of those who have hurt her. This element of forgiveness is a difficult task to achieve but key to obtaining peace and closure. It is not a forgiveness of allowing others to hurt you but a letting go of bitterness and pain that allows you to go on with life.

I admire her willingness to write her memoir and share her pain. Her book is important as it gives readers a glimpse into the world of severe poverty, childhood abuse and trauma. We can all learn from her wrenching story.

Dr. Victoria Barlow

Retired Trauma Therapist

Introduction

Starkishia: Estrella is a story about a little girl who grew up too fast to feel the grass wear thin under the soles of her shoes. Abuse thickened her skin, yet her nightmares were as dark as they were real. The library became her sanctuary where stories took her to another place and time. But, in reality there was nothing imaginary about the bruises under her clothing as she advanced from one classroom to another during middle school, or nothing fictitious about being molested by the maggot hands of a despicable relative.

Her plight was hidden in a small town in Georgia, just as her physical abuse was disregarded by the school’s social worker. This colored child was brought into this world by her 14 year old mother who was ruthlessly dominated by her husband. Starkishia loved her mother above all else; her step-father who provided shelter for them witnessed her birth and helped raise her. She consumed pieces of joy, but sometimes she received broken reprisals and ended up walking down the dark road alone; yet in some fortunate way humanity was always within reach.

After her parents split up, Starkishia and her family ended up in Texas. Single parenthood changed their family structure forevermore. Starkishia became a wage earner at age 13; she also became homeless the following year. She was, for years, engulfed by her impoverished and dysfunctional environment.

She married a native of Mexico a few days after her 15th birthday. He nicknamed her ‘Estrella’ a Spanish term which means ‘Star.’ It goes without saying that Starkishia was born in the land of opportunity, but it was not exactly within her reach. Yes, she was her grandmother’s star, but she was a statistic of minimal proportions as far as small town and suburbia America was concerned.

Shortly after marriage, she became a mother. Afterward the life of this teen went downhill at lightning speed. Many readers will identify with her; for, she walked away from her husband broken hearted; then, she fell in love with another man, and as new babies arrived, she took her limited funds and focused on the lives of those under her roof; in time, her parental absence to her oldest two children turned flat out into abandonment. Have mercy! Starkishia was a lost teen, but through grace she eventually became a productive woman in American society.

Meredith Etc.,  a small press, proudly introduces readers to Starkishia: Estrella, a story about the perils of teen parenthood, economic dispossession, and the charity of new beginnings.

Meredith Coleman McGee, Acquisition Editor

Meredith Etc., a small press

Jackson, Mississippi, USA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=455b31YlM7k Starkishia’s Interview with Lady Walker

www.meredithetc.com

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24 thoughts on “Starkishia: Estrella (Memoir)

  1. Just got finished reading this great book. I read the whole 262 pages in one day. It’s a miracle that the author went through everything in this book and is still here. It was like a Lifetime movie. I was so into the book I forgot my groceries in the car and remembered they were out there when I read the word onion in the book. I can’t wait to read her next book.

    Katrina Ellis Edwards

  2. Please listen to the interview posted above and purchase this book. She does not look like what she has been through! It is unreal. She is a bilingual, working mother and wife who has, in a short time, defined the word survivor!

    Ty A. Patterson, Author

  3. I just finished reading Starkishia: Estrella, and though this memoir made me cry it was an extraordinary insight into a young, black, American girl’s struggle through life. I recommend that everyone read this book and look forward to more from this talented author!!

    Clothilde Hinkle

  4. Just finish reading Starkishia’s book and I must say that its a awesome book!!!! I’M SO VERY HAPPY FOR YOU! I never would have thought she went through all of what she went through. Shes a very humble young lady. I recommended that everyone read her book. I’m so proud of you and wish you nothing but the best! GOD BLESS YOU! 🙂

    GeLisa Tyler

  5. Thanks for all of the wonderful reviews, and thanks for reading and enjoying Starkishia:Estrella.

  6. I read Starkishia:Estrella, and it’s an inspirational novel. The imperfection of time shows a life time of pain could turn into the perfect fairytale. LIFE is a struggle and it’s up to you to get up and make a change. I feel that Starkishia is an incredible writer, and she needs to tell her story all across the world.. Life is wonderful, and there is no such thing as the impossible!.

  7. By Jessica Meredith Knight

    Whew… Just got through reading! A child’s love for his or her mother is definitely unbreakable no matter what. It was definitely hard to put the book down! I really commend Starkishia for sharing her story. Hopefully, her testimony will encourage other young ladies going through similar situations to open up and tell their life’s experience. The ending had me a little disappointed because I thought Starkishia was going to change her mind at the last minute and take the kids back to the states with her. Great book! Hopefully she will be reunited with her kids soon and I will be reading Starkishia Estrella Reunited…

  8. Starkishia’s memoir is a page-turner that will have you spell-bound. Your emotions will run from one end of the spectrum to the other. We see Starkishia as a girl you want to take into your home and parent. When it’s all over, you will shout the victory because Starkishia comes out, still standing, still strong.

  9. What an incredible story and a courageous soul to tell it! Estrella has some of everything: child abuse and neglect; teenage pregnancy; immigrant/minority issues; interracial dating/cultural issues; undiagnosed mental illness; and a peek into the world of the South – and not from a “Southern Belle” perspective. I believe this book could easily turn into film or play because it discusses some real social problems and the storytelling is riveting – you won’t be able to put this book down as you go along the ride with Estrella. You will cry for her and hope for her as you turn each page! Interestingly, there’s also some witty humor, candor, and amazing forgiveness to look forward to. I could go on and on – it’s a MUST read!

  10. Starkishia:Estrella is a gripping memoir that forces you to read all 262 pages as you journey with young Starkishia. Your heart will cry out for her as she faces battles no child should. You will rejoice with her when she triumphs and pity her when she falls.
    Starkishia:Estrella is a true story that many people can relate to.

  11. This was a really amazing book and it showed me that no matter what happens in your life you can over come it and be happy.

  12. Starkishia: Estrella is by far one of the best memoirs I haveever read. The story reveals the real circumstance but es surrounding a young girls life. I must say…………Never judge a book by its cover until you open it. This book is one all young women and mothers need to read. No one should face what this young girl faced as a child but this book will open your eyes to see shes not alone! She was just brave enough to tell the story that will one day save others.

    Chelsea Paige

  13. This was an absolutely amazing book.. I met the author at a signing where several authors were there selling books & autographing. I went in saying I am going to buy one book because I am a bibliophobe and have soooo many books in my house. When I walked in, Starkishia’s spirit just drew me right in to her immediately. After reading this memoir, I know why! She is the exudes strength, character, power, and love. I knew I had to read her story and I was not at all disappointed! I have encouraged many others to pick up a copy as well. I can’t wait until Starkishia publishes another book! Keep doing your thing girl! Your God-given talent is amazing!

  14. Reading Starkishia was quite an experience trying to envision a young lady going through such pain. This is one of those memoirs you are empathetic and sympathetic of the character. I enjoyed this book tremendously.

  15. Had the pleasure of reading this book a few weeks ago. It was so intriguing I was unable to put it down. I read the book in it’s entirety in a single night. This young lady has overcome many obstacles in her path, but is definitely prospering. I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting this young author and what a joy to converse with her. My advice to her was to keep God first in all that she does. Fellow readers out there, purchase the book, you can’t go wrong in doing so…….The book is truly an eye-opener…..

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