Review by Susan Marie Molloy
This short work is a both a synopsis of a grain accident that took place in Mount Carroll, Illinois in July 2010 and the story of the lone survivor, Will Piper, in the years following.
Grain bin work is extremely dangerous. If workers do not follow certain, exacting precautions serious injury and death are guaranteed. This story outlined that well, and the author, Ericka Hayasaki, appears to have done her research in being able to clearly show how a person can be sucked into grain (specifically corn) and how the grain can draw the body deeper into the bin and cause suffocation, crushing, maiming, and more often than not – death. Hayasaki used correct medical terminology and explained the physics how grain moves and does its damage when workers are not cautious.
The author focuses heavily on the survivor’s life in most of the book. She reports that after the accident, Piper increased his drug and alcohol use, she recounts his exploits in selling drugs, and describes how he made crack and meth. We discover how he was caught and sent to a rehabilitation center where he was surprised to meet his uncle. In an almost unbelievable turn, we learn that this uncle was using illegal drugs until he, too, was “saved” by treatment. Together, the two attend Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous, and all turned out well in the end. As of the beginning of 2014, Piper is working regularly and appears to have his life on the straight and narrow.
Although this book is written coherently and Hayasaki obviously did her research, the overabundance of the use of vulgarity removed a lot of credibility from her work. From the first “F”-word she plopped down on the page, she seemed to find a much-too-easy use of it throughout the pages, and she even sprinkled in the “S” word where she could not find a better word. Certainly, she used vulgarity when sharing the characters’ thoughts and conversations, however that use is unnecessary in telling the story. To fall into a base form of writing as this leaves a bad aftertaste to an otherwise interesting story.
This book is available on Kindle.
©Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within.