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Indelible Link, by Juni Fisher


2022/05/05


Review by Tom Brannon

Trapeze flyer Tattooed Matilda finishes her signature act one night and seconds later, she’s hurtling toward the tanbark floor of the ring. Horribly injured she struggles to make sense of her condition while she grasps at memories of her troubled childhood and life as a star of a rag-tag troupe. Outside her circus family, Matilda remembers one true friend: Lucky Eddie.

Eddie is a sardonic, war-scarred, tattoo artist with a monkey called heroin on his back who bestows Matilda’s first tattoo when she’s a shy, misfit teen. Their seemingly strange friendship deepens over the years, enduring Eddie’s battle with addiction and Matilda’s craving for tattoos while she chases the intoxicating lure of the spotlight. Theirs is a bond forged in tattoo ink.

But the circus tent that has fed Matilda’s soul becomes a curtain of unimaginable heartache when tragedy befalls the world she knows and loves, and plummets her into a downward spiral that even bright lights, applause, and a new tattoo can’t mask.

The time line in this book jumps back and forth between 1958, where a comatose Matilda is lying in a hospital bed, and her youth in the early 1940s. For the several months that she is slowly healing, she can hear and understand, but cannot talk or communicate. The segments describing each event in time are as short as two paragraphs or as long as several pages. This is not confusing, however, as each segment is clearly dated and the chronology is in logical order.

Matilda and her siblings, each by different fathers, are raised by her grandparents in New Orleans, since her mother has run off with her latest fling. She is pretty (although she doesn’t realize it), introspective and shy. The one thing that she feels confident about are the tattoos applied by Eddie.

Hired as a temp by a traveling circus to sell concessions, and serendipitously drawn into an impromptu trapeze act, she catches the eye of Bill, a trapeze flyer who is so infatuated by her that he proposes to her and she literally runs away with him and joins the circus. Although the circus troupe is no less functional than her family, most of them are fond of Matilda and one act at a time, she works her way up to the high wire.

Indelible Linkcues up the music for a high flying, wild ride back to the time when the train pulled into town and a traveling circus arrived to promise a magical adventure under the big top.

About the author: Juni Fisher is a professional singer, song writer, performer, author and horse trainer who lives in Nashville, Tenn. Her genre is western and cowboy music. She was raised on a farm in San Joaquin Valley, CA and was active in 4-H and FFA. While studying Equine Science at the College of the Sequoias she rode horses for customers and was captain of the college horse show team. In 1984 she moved to Santa Ynez, CA to train cutting horses.Juni’s ability to ride at speed across the hills landed her with a position as a professional “whipper-in” with a foxhunt club in Tennessee. After that, point to point racing, steeplechasing, and eventing took the place of cow horses, while she honed her songwriting skills among some Nashville’s finest writers.In 2012 she returned to the cow horse world by winning the NRCHA Celebrity Cow Horse Challenge and continues to train and show cow horses.

She is also the author Girls from Cantro (2019). Visit Juni’s website: https://www.junifisher.com

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