The Weathering of Strawberry Ben - a novel & poetry by Ted L Carroll

Would Strawberry Ben kill himself? .....Fiction and poetry intertwine, celebrating the naturally awful capacities of human depths (and heights) via young Strawberry Ben's daily dance with despair.

Much of the novel is autobiographic.
So, "What's the book about?"
Pointedly, “The Weathering of Strawberry Ben” is the story of a man (Tom) who survives being raped - as a child. Now, grown, he almost (accidentally) kills a young boy (Ben).
     Tom had barely survived his own life! Now he’s nearly taken the life of a kid! Markedly, Tom experiences a transformational spiritual awakening in the journey of discovering the love of his life, his now-wife, Em.
     The plot centers around the boy, nick-named: Strawberry Ben. His unlikely mentor and brother figure is Tom and, of course, Tom's lovely wife Em - who loves young Benjamin as her own son. Furthermore, old man Vanilla Rick adds a twist to the story and adds a shining tight bow of paradox near The End.
     Complementing an unrelenting experience of darkness and despair "The Weathering of Strawberry Ben" is the story of victory over death, depression, and addiction as well as one’s capacity for unconditional love and the practice of contemplative awareness.
     Unsurprisingly, the story is morbid, however, the story of Strawberry Ben is also one of utmost commitment to principles – especially to intimate trust and undying love - the deepest and most worthwhile paths of perceptive living.
     From boyhood rape to loss of parents, from demonic dependencies to poems of desperation, from sadness and soul-thievery to divine grace and forgiveness, Ben's story is also that of Tom and Em’s, the couple whose lives are so undeniably intertwined with the young man's that basic loyalty to family and friends demands being reevaluated.
     Finally, Rick adds a twist to the story that leaves the reader unashamedly wanting more. In the meantime, and throughout most the book, one cannot help but wonder: “Would Strawberry Ben kill himself?”