By Harley Nefe
Out of the blue, a stroke of luck allowed me to meet local High Country resident Genevieve Austin and get my hands on her terrific novel titled “The Toy Box,” which contains rich keepsakes that must be shared with readers.
Published this year, “The Toy Box” is an autobiographical story that Genevieve tells from a fifth-born child’s perspective capturing the colorful life of an American family chasing the dream of show business. Born into a performance-devoted family, Genevieve attempted to scramble into place.
The setting shifts from Denver, Colorado to Hollywood, California to the Appalachian Mountains and more as readers are immersed into the unique life experiences that Genevieve shares.
Upon opening “The Toy Box,” readers meet family and friends who are dear to Genevieve and are taken back to key moments with the characters that spark a variety of emotions. Feelings of happiness and laughter and a little bit of sadness overwhelm the readers with each page turn as they embark on Genevieve’s journey of self discovery.
The novel reads similar to a journal as it contains snapshots of the different seasons of Genevieve’s life through her growing perspective. From growing up in a large family, moving to new areas, attending different schools and learning about various cultures, it is clear that each moment, no matter how big or small, holds a special place in the author’s heart.
While readers consume the content, they are really being invited into the author’s world. By the end of the book, it is as though readers have known Genevieve their entire lives. However, readers are able to take that established relationship further, as they are able to use what they learned and relate to the experiences in their own way and reflect on their own paths in life.
Through the resonating material, readers gain inspiration and motivation that they can apply to their personal lives, as they learn it’s okay to not know what life has in store for them and that they are not alone on the adventure. Despite all of the ups and downs, life is an incredible thing that needs to be celebrated, and that is exactly what Genevieve does with “The Toy Box.”