A Powerful Staged Reading of “Riva Beside Me” a novel by Carla Perry… A story of hope and healing…

by | Aug 10, 2014


“Riva Beside Me” cast members are, KE Edmisten, left, as “The Mother,” Sarah Gayle as “Riva,” Hovey Grosvenor as “Richard,” and Wayne Plourde as “The Narrator.” (Photo by Carla Perry)  Click photo for larger view…


CARLA PERRY is the founder of the monthly Nye Beach Writers’ Series and Writers On The Edge, a nonprofit organization dedicated to literary arts on the Central Oregon Coast. She received the Stewart Holbrook Special Oregon Book Award for her outstanding contributions to Oregon’s literary community, and the Oregon Governor’s Art Award for the longevity and quality of Writers on The Edge.

Staged Reading of Riva Beside Me, by Carla Perry…  Quote from this website Lincoln County Dispatch… The novel, “Riva Beside Me: New York City 1963-1966,” is based on real life, growing up in Manhattan in a dysfunctional family. But the story is one of transition and hope, where humor and love prevail. Perry says the story makes it obvious that angels walk among us.”


My wife, Judy, pulled me away from a lazy day at home, and gave me a wonderful and heartwarming surprise… the staged reading of Riva Beside Me by Carla Perry (order book on my sidebar from Amazon.) at Café Mundo, Newport, Oregon.  Carla is a close friend of ours so the performance was even more special.  Judy read her book as well, and loved it!  No more procrastination on my part now… I have to find out about the ending since the staged reading performance included excerpts from about 60% of the book.

The performance by the cast, especially the character of “the mother” by KE Edmisten, triggered painful memories of my own toxic childhood growing up in the 1950’s and early 1960’s.  I was moved and visibly shaken until my empathy and compassion kicked in for the dysfunctional circumstances surrounding Carla’s childhood.  I could see my own family in a reality show on stage during the performance…it was both cathartic and healing…

Before researching and writing my own non-fiction story, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story, there was hate in my heart for decades from experiencing child abuse and emotional neglect.  The hate is now gone, and my journey of healing has taken over completely.  Once we let go of the anger and hate connected with a traumatic experience or event, we are able to forgive and move on.  Carla Perry and I are both survivors and battle buddies in life after trauma.  Thank you, Carla Perry, for your friendship and for helping others find their own path of healing.  You and the cast of the staged reading of your novel, Riva Beside Me, is now included on my bucket list of most grateful and treasured memories in life.

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story and My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1…


About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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