Sullivan’s Hollow lies in the heart of Smith County along the piney woods of south central Mississippi called “the baddest lands on earth” by Life Magazine. Bruce Sullivan is a direct descendant of the notorious Irish clan that once thrived there. He has lived to tell the tale of the reflections in his life that were eerily similar to his own people. With an alcoholic father moving his family around the country in a desperate effort to make ends meet, Sullivan learned at an early age that life would not be easy. Strong family bonds disrupted by episodes of violence made home life difficult and Sullivan struggled to achieve in school. Bruce Sullivan shows that his Irish grit is bigger than the ugly circumstances metered out by life. He never blames others for his difficulties, choosing rather to focus on improving circumstances through his own efforts. Up from the Ruins is a poignant portrayal of one boy’s journey whose adult life is mirrored by his life as a child. The main character descends downward and spirals upward stretching the emotional elasticity of the human limits decidedly proving that there is value to human effort.
“I met Wayne while a professor at a Christian college where I was a professor and he was a student. Several years later he and I both were therapists on a Psych unit. We often talked about our past experiences and became friends. I soon realized that Wayne had a gift for recognizing the absurdities of life and how they impacted the patients. Also, because he grew up in a dysfunctional family he could identify with the hurts of those he was treating. His counseling did not arise out of the theories in textbooks but out of his own insights. I encouraged him to write a book about his struggles because it would bring objectivity to his perspectives. Wayne also has a dry wit that is disarming. His writing is edgy and candid. Someone said, “Be kind because everyone is hurting.” The reader will gain insights into how deeply a little boy can be wounded and carry the scars into adulthood. It is a short read but that makes it all the more powerful.” ~ Dr. Jerry Haughton – Presbyterian Minister
“This emotionally jarring and touching story is a testament of Bruce Sullivan’s sheer will and determination to find meaning in his life. After years of roaming with no purpose and feeling worthless, Bruce shows his Irish grit is greater than ugly circumstances which comes his way. After battling an alcoholic father who later dies, whom he loved with all his heart, moving from school to school as a young boy and facing bullies, to an aimless adulthood filled with alcohol, drugs, and girls, Bruces’ journey is touching and relatable to those of us who’ve experienced bad circumstances in our own life. From working as a bartender to experiencing homelessness and to emerge with a Master’s Degree and to be a professional counselor, Up From the Ruins is a direct reflection of one man’s journey for something better in a world filled with regret, questions, depression, and aimless wondering. I proudly recommend this to anyone. Through his book, Bruce shows the power of God’s spirit in his life even when he thought his life had no meaning. It is when we give up all hope that God shows us He will never give up on us. Bruces’ struggles to overcome are a testament of will, determination, and a struggle to help ourselves and in doing so learn to help others along the way.” ~ Sherry Perkins – Book Author