Published in 2013 as a fiction memoir set in the late 1960s, Tuesday’s Gone by Lila M. Beckham recounts the approximately five-year experience of Tuesday as she attempts to take control of her life. “Gone” from the title can refer to the fourteen-year-old Tuesday leaving her home after an argument with her mother. The argument was the culmination of a series of arguments perhaps originating from a molestation attempt by Tuesday’s stepfather when she was ten years old.
So Tuesday left after no preparation for doing so. She had no money, no idea where she was going, and no plans other than to leave home. After spending a night in a school bus, she came upon a literal mom and pop diner where she asked for a job and got it but only after being forced to eat a much-needed meal. The elderly couple who owned and operated the diner also allowed her to stay in an unused storage room, a room they purchased essential furniture for. They also bought clothes for her. How lucky could she get? That is why this is a work of fiction.
At this point, she is fourteen. She discovers her sexuality. It’s a good thing the unused but converted storage room has two doors, one of which allows her to lead her own life privately. Eventually, she makes a poor choice of boyfriends. One of them beat and raped her to the point she had to be admitted to a hospital for a lengthy period. At this point, she decided to abandon the diner without notice to mom and pop. She also decided to act as a trauma victim without memory of what happened. With no place to go after leaving the hospital, she was lucky to find that an orderly at the hospital, a male living at home with his mom, who took pity on her. He and his mom took her in. Impressed by his kindness, she married him. That is why this is fiction.
After the marriage, Daniel became a different, extremely possessive husband. Which did not stop him from seeing lots of other women. Again, Tuesday fled. There was another choice, a cop, which was good because Daniel did not accept abandonment lightly. She needed the protection. Andy even offered to use his contacts to get rid of Daniel permanently. Presumably, cops do that. That is why this is a work of fiction.
It was time to run again. Back in familiar territory, she arrived at the mom and pop diner to find it closed. Mom had died but pop welcomed her back. He offered her a place to stay and promised to transfer all his possessions to her in a will. Accepting that, she got a job at a nearby Dairy Queen where she happened to see a former boyfriend accompanied by a pregnant female. It looks like she missed the boat. But no, the pregnant female was Larry’s sister. That is why this is …
This is a pleasant read, a short novella. The most interesting thing I found in the novel was the depiction of speaking style. Some examples:
“I had done went through that crap before, at home.” (p. 2).
“(He) had a swagger about him that let me know that he knew he was all that and a bag of chips too.” (p. 7).
This is a light, fast, entertaining read. Despite protagonist Tuesday’s age, this is not for all young adult readers.