Parakeet Races and Other Stories is a memoir that recounts the challenges and escapades of a family of six children in the 1950s which faces the premature death of its mother. Always authentic, each self-contained story can be read in just a few richly rewarding minutes that may leave the reader laughing out loud, crying, or both. Together the stories recount the collective memories of a remarkable set of siblings, three boys and three girls, the father who gives it his very best, and the mother whom the children can barely remember. The stories explore the mystery of the mothers death and reflect how the death of a parent in that era was often a topic not to be discussed or processed.
The author, Cindy Hall Ranii, is the oldest daughter in the Hall Family, and beyond sharing the memories of her childhood and that of her siblings, she also shares her experiences as a world traveler, first as a teenager in Finland, then as a college student in India and finally as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Iran. With her keen powers of observation and respectfulness of different cultures she gives the reader the opportunity to eavesdrop on other peoples and other places.
In the final segment of Parakeet Races Dr. Ranii takes the reader into the world of disability.
Stricken with Transverse Myelitis, a rare neuro-immunologic disorder, she went from playing golf one day to being paralyzed from the chest down four days later. Her accounts of this chapter of her life are told with the same delicious, rhythmic writing style as the other two segments of the book.
The author skillfully weaves her stories from decade to decade, taking the reader on a journey that captivates, entertains and challenges.