Read Riding Fury Home: A Memoir by Chana Wilson Online


In 1958, when Chana Wilson was seven, her mother attempted suicide, holding a rifle to her own head and pulling the trigger. The gun jammed and she was taken away to a mental hospital. On her return, Chana became the caretaker of her heavily medicated, suicidal mother. It would be many years before she learned the secret of her mother’s anguish: her love affair with anotheIn 1958, when Chana Wilson was seven, her mother attempted suicide, holding a rifle to her own head and pulling the trigger. The gun jammed and she was taken away to a mental hospital. On her return, Chana became the caretaker of her heavily medicated, suicidal mother. It would be many years before she learned the secret of her mother’s anguish: her love affair with another married woman, and the psychiatric treatment aimed at curing her of her lesbianism.Riding Fury Home spans forty years of the intense, complex relationship between Chana and her mother—the trauma of their early years together, the transformation and joy they found when they both came out in the 1970s, and the deep bond that grew between them. From the intolerance of the 50s to the exhilaration of the women’s movement of the 70s and beyond, the book traces the profound ways in which their two lives were impacted by the social landscape of their time. Exquisitely written and devastatingly honest, Riding Fury Home is a shattering account of one family’s struggle against homophobia and mental illness—and a powerful story of healing, forgiveness, and redemption....

Title : Riding Fury Home: A Memoir
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781580054324
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 384 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Riding Fury Home: A Memoir Reviews

  • Feministprof
    2018-11-04 11:01

    Riding Fury Home is an emotional roller-coaster of a book, filled with gut-wrenching lows and transcendent highs. I read this book with a great deal of interest, as its material covers many of the fields I teach: Memoir, 20th-century American Literature, and Gay and Lesbian Studies. Because I recently published a book about confessional writing, I am also interested in the ways people have experienced and written about the intersections amongst psychiatry, sexuality, and women’s issues. I found this book to be a rewarding and enriching read on all of these fronts. Riding Fury Home tells the harrowing story of the author’s relationship with her suicidal mother. The childhood section, in which the mother, Gloria, attempts suicide on four separate occasions, is disturbing and often painful. After her first attempt, Gloria is institutionalized and undergoes numerous painful and debilitating shock treatments. Finally, she is sent home, heavily sedated and still clearly depressed. Inexplicably, her husband chooses to take an overseas job, leaving her home alone with her young daughter, who must cope on her own. The descriptions of this year, when the author--still only a child—had to care for her ill, medicated, clinically depressed mother, of her confused feelings of shame, anger, resentment, concern, and love, are affecting and powerful. The next section of the book moves from the trauma of the author’s childhood to the independence of college life. A series of failed relationships with men gives way to an awakening connection with the lesbian community and a joyous period of self-discovery in which the author comes out as a lesbian. The descriptions of San Francisco in the seventies, of the consciousness-raising groups, the women’s movement, and the cultural and political scene (complete with government surveillance and spies!), are valuable pieces of social history. It is only after the author comes out to her mother that Gloria opens up about her own past, revealing that her first suicide attempt followed the break-up of a love affair she’d had with another married woman. Seen in light of her own closeted sexuality, her depression can be understood as the failed attempt to conform to compulsory heterosexuality, to lead a conventionally scripted life of wife and mother. Gloria’s revelations about the ways the medical establishment tried to “fix” her by reinstating her into a traditionally gendered life provide valuable insight into the homophobia that both contributed to and exacerbated her mental illness.The book’s final sections are among the most affecting, as the author and her mother repair the damage their relationship has suffered through their shared connection with other women and with their emerging lesbian identities. Having once been fraught and miserable, their relationship becomes open and joyous, and the healing that is depicted here is cathartic and inspirational. Riding Fury Home will be of interest to anyone interested in gay and lesbian issues, in American history, and in the always complicated relationship between mothers and daughters.

  • Rose Ruston
    2018-10-19 16:56

    In prose of dazzling clarity, Chana Wilson’s memoir Riding Fury Home describes the life of a Jewish-American family in 1950s New Jersey. As we find out, this family, living quietly in a beautiful, sun-filled house, was in the grip of destructive social forces beyond their control. The same little girl who played in the woods and adored her puppy was forced repeatedly to protect her Mom, Gloria, from suicide. Gloria had met the terrifying fate inflicted upon many of our Lesbian and Gay forebears: Unhappy in a heterosexual marriage, she fell in love with a woman, lost her, and was forced to hide her true self. Descending into serious depression, Gloria was incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital and given coercive electroshock therapy. This “treatment” only worsened her fragile mental state. Chana’s father, frayed beyond breaking point, left his young daughter to cope alone with her Mom. Blessed with innate resilience and a loving foundation with her parents, Chana wasn’t destroyed by her traumatic experiences. As she recounts with gentle humor, she grew up, came out, and found the healing joy of closeness with her Mom (who also came out). Chana and her Dad rebuilt their relationship, too, as he bravely supported her journey to understanding. Finally, Chana found love and marriage with a wonderful woman whose portrait she finely draws. In healing herself and helping her family to heal, and then writing the tale for us all to share, Chana is helping heal the world of the havoc wreaked by homophobia.

  • Jeanne Courtney
    2018-10-30 18:24

    It reads like the very best fiction, with vivid details that stimulate all the senses, heart pounding scenes that keep the pages turning, and comical anecdotes that are both thought-provoking and fun. But this story is true, and relentlessly truthful, told without a hint of sensationalism or sentimentality.Personal experiences are deftly interspersed with Wilson's take on the turbulent, expansive social times in which she came of age. She keeps the narrative intimate and specific, while paying tribute to the political movements that profoundly influenced her life and the life of her mother, who, prior to feminism and gay liberation, was terrorized and debilitated by psychiatric efforts to cure her of her love for women.Wilson carries the reader directly into emotions that are hard to face, much less write about - shame, grief, rage, even the feeling of not being able to feel - and she comes out unequivocally on the side of hope. For me, that persistent hope was the gift at the center of this delightful read. I got to witness, through one woman's story, how resilient we humans can be, and how as we grow, we ultimately seem to lean toward joy.

  • Helen Mayer
    2018-10-25 17:19

    Hooked the moment I started reading Chana Wilson's memoir, Riding Fury Home . I think you will be too!The book reads more like a novel as Wilson tells us about growing up as "parentified" child with a mother who was suffering, often suicidal, and a father who coped the best he knew how. Wilson's father often managed by withdrawing and leaving his young daughter essentially on her own with a heavily drugged despairing mother.Somehow they all survive and eventually thrive. I don't want to spoil all the twists and turns of the story but Wilson manages to capture the voices of each of the characters. They are neither villains nor heroes and each in their own way muddle through to reconciliation. Wilson was also able to capture the voice and thoughts of a child, a youth, young adult and finally a mature woman. This skill and her wonderful storytelling made each page a delight and an invitation.As I was finishing the book, I had to keep reminding myself that it was a true story and that there wasn't going to be a sequel. I love and hate when a book ends and I go through severe character withdrawal. I hope to hear more from author Chana Wilson!

  • Jen
    2018-11-14 16:03

    This is a really powerful story about a girl whose childhood was uprooted by her mother's "mental health treatment" -- and who later learned that her mother had been undergoing psychiatric treatment to "cure" her of lesbianism. Her mother's story, and the changes in the author's relationship with her mother over the years (as both the author and her mother come out) are the heart of the book. Some of the author's stories about her own relationships lack self awareness and made me cringe, though. For instance, the author relayed an incident where participants at a women's retreat lambasted a woman for declining to spend the night with the author (after the poor woman drew the author's name, at random, out of a hat during a sexuality workshop). The author focused on her own feelings of rejection and on her satisfaction when the woman was attacked by other participants -- with no compassion or consideration for the other woman's perspective at all. That was really creepy and disturbing.

  • Joshua Feldman
    2018-11-10 14:21

    Riding Fury Home is a memoir of trauma and redemption with an important broader significance.The early chapters of Chana Wilson's shattering memoir "Riding Fury Home" literally devastated me. Her mother's suicide attempts, her father leaving her alone with her heavily medicated clearly unstable mother; these details of loneliness, abandonment, and the terrible responsibility she was forced to shoulder struck me viscerally and I was forced to come up, literally panting for breath every few pages. I can count few books that have conveyed trauma to me as keenly ("Quiet Flows the Don" comes to mind).When Chana finds herself as a lesbian in the early seventies the story becomes one of self discovery and redemption. The redemptive aspect becomes powerful as her mother, Gloria recovers from the devastating effects of psychiatric abusive therapy, finds herself as a lesbian, and emerges on her own professional course as an educator and therapist. Gloria recovers her mental health and also emerges as a person capable of nurturing and supporting others.Chana's traumatic childhood presents enormous challenges for her as a maturing adult - particularly in terms of needing intimacy and being inexperienced in what that was or how to get it. A big part of the redemption is Chana's growing ability to say what she needs and to articulate her boundaries. With this emerging articulateness comes her decision to become a therapist - and help others with their trauma. It mirrors Gloria's redemptive recovery.This is beautiful stuff, but the real power comes from putting these experiences in the larger context of LGBT studies and the movement and the history of the gay experience in the US. Gloria's closeted marriage and resulting trauma and the medical establishment's response are literally unbelievable. It's vitally important that stories like hers are recorded and noted. They are part of the complex of transgressions that form an imperative to complete the mission for full civil rights for all Americans started by the founding fathers but hard fought for stigmatized sections of society by every generation since then. Gloria's story, personal as it is presented here, is a call to arms for any civic minded person. It forms an important aspect of American history that has to be heard to be believed and has to be heard so that we can all understand how important civil rights really are. It can literally be a matter of survival.

  • Melinda
    2018-10-26 15:23

    I picked up this book after hearing an amazing reading by the author. It's an intense, enthralling story.Trapped in a suffocating marriage in the 1950s, Chana Wilson's mother, Gloria, tries to kill herself, but fails. By a twist of fate, the gun jams. She is quickly taken away. Going in and out of psychiatric hospitals during the peak of electroshock therapy, she tries, again and again, to die. Wilson describes the distress of a child losing her mother, finding a mother who isn't really there, taking care of a mother who can't be trusted to take her medication properly or put herself to bed. A mother who at any moment may disappear.It's only later, when Wilson (then called Karen) comes out to her mother as a lesbian, that she learns about Gloria's affair with another woman, about the heartbreak and homophobia, about the therapy meant to cure her. The women's liberation movement is gaining momentum, and as a lesbian feminist, Karen is in the thick of it; pretty soon, so is Gloria. As Gloria rediscovers the joy of life, Karen grows close to her mother again, finding both a best friend and a mother, the figure so lacking since she was a second grader. And though Wilson could have romanticized their relationship, she doesn't; painting a clear picture of her anger and pain, mixed in with her love for her mother.Wilson brings the period alive; reading it, I wished I could have been there. Her careful use of detail makes it feel very real. Laura Nyro's "Stoned Soul Picnic" plays in the background as Karen and her first girlfriend kiss for the first time. At college, Karen sends her mother a copy of the classic anthology Sisterhood Is Powerful. Later, when Karen, then Chana, is living in the East Bay, when she has an awkward encounter at a concert at La Peña in Berkeley. This trove of details is especially satisfying if you're familiar with any of the places Wilson's lived: New Jersey, New York, the Bay Area.Though the book spans forty years, Wilson narrates with an emotional depth that makes it feel urgent throughout, hard to put down. It's a memoir of Wilson's life, but it's ultimately Gloria's story, from the early years of her marriage to her death from cancer. After her diagnosis, she declares: "I'm going to lick this thing, and I am going to live to write a book about my life." Although Gloria never does write that book, her daughter's memoir offers a beautiful tribute to her legacy.

  • Ken Saunders
    2018-10-24 11:00

    I loved this memoir's careful, compassionate tone and its message of healing and reconciliation. It's also quite exciting as the author uses examples of mounting government surveillance/intrusion into her private life to evoke the paranoid toll that abandonment issues took on her early relationships. Not difficult to believe in early-70's San Francisco, where the SLA had recently kidnapped Patty Hearst. Marking her emotional development through political and social changes could easily have come across as tiresome or self-aggrandizing. Instead her painful honesty and unexpected imagery builds to a devastating but beautiful conclusion.

  • Meave
    2018-11-17 13:04

    This was pretty good. Wilson doesn't have as deft a hand with language as Dorothy Allison, nor does she write as provocatively as Michelle Tea, but as far as shitty-childhood-lesbian-coming-of-age stories go, this is solid stuff. I totally empathize with her frustration with infighting with different liberal groups, man. Every time you get an opening, as a feminist or liberal or whatever, you're grateful, but you see the flaws and your criticize because This is good, but it could be so much better.ANYWAY. My pal gave it a really high review, but I feel like, reflecting back on a life well (and bumpily) lived can be a difficult thing to do with finesse, and while Wilson certainly has her psychoanalysis in order, her prose could be more sophisticated.Still, it's an honest recounting of a difficult life that ends in triumph, and that is no small thing.

  • Monza Naff
    2018-11-07 18:19

    Once in a very great while I hear a voice that takes up residence in my heart, a story both personal and cultural that deserves to live a long time in my mind. So it is with Chana Wilson's voice, her memoir "Riding Fury Home"--growing up with and caring for a mother diagnosed as mentally ill because she was a lesbian in the 50's, coming out at the same time as her mother in the 70's, and forging a profoundly close adult relationship with her mother even as she creates a home with her life partner. This book is stunning, beautifully written and meticulously told. If you are interested in reflecting on what a human spirit needs to survive and thrive, and if you love a finely-told tale in exquisite language, read this book!

  • Candace
    2018-10-23 17:14

    The author’s tone is agreeable, but the story she tells is harrowing. There seems to be a cauldron of rage toward both her parents that is bubbling just under the surface. My heart went out to both of her parents, but Chana seems stuck on their failures to parent her properly. I wonder if some of her more obvious rage was edited out. The tone seems much more bland than the storm of emotions just under the surface.It is an immediately gripping story in terms of its presentation. Well-written, and provides a heart-breaking portrait of how self-destructive internalized homophobia can be. This is an important book.

  • Audacia Ray
    2018-11-14 15:23

    Only got through the first hundred pages... the sentences are nice, and I can tell that she really worked on them, but there's a lot lacking in the flow and consistency of the story. My close reading self couldn't get past not knowing how she knows what she knows. How does she know about her parents' awkward sexual encounters during the honeymoon? And the real kicker... in relating a story about antisemitic graffiti etched on her dad's truck in dust when she was a baby, she writes, "My parents never spoke to me about the hatred someone's finger had etched onto Dad's car." Then how did she know it happened? Sloppy stuff.

  • Gato
    2018-11-07 11:04

    Let me start by saying that I was directed to this book because of the mother-daughter theme and picked it up not knowing anything additional about it. And, although there is definitely an over-arching mother-daughter story, it is more of a contrast of two women learning to embrace their true sexual identities during two very different times in history. I enjoyed the very beginning, but then it became, at least for me, a lengthy laundry list of the author's affairs and with whom. The end of the book, when the mother became ill, regained its focus.

  • Shannon
    2018-10-25 12:05

    Excellent, touching, socially important memoir. By only real complaint was that I felt there were often large jumps/gaps in time that left me feeling a bit disoriented and sometimes questioning how we had gotten there. The author was covering several decades so there was a lot of squeeze in, but it was a little jumpy. Besides that, this was a great story with many valuable things to say.

  • Jeannette
    2018-11-02 14:20

    The first half of the book dealing with the author's turbulent childhood with a mentally ill mother and an absent father was well-told and engaging. But the second half of the book detailing the author's failed relationships were painful and awkward to read.

  • Kasandra
    2018-11-14 15:57

    A touching memoir. However, I fear the subject matter was far more interesting than the author's ability to tell it. I do recommend it though, especially for fans of memoir, LGBT literature, and women's history.

  • Christina Zable
    2018-11-05 12:12

    Chana Wilson had an incredibly hard childhood. Her mother, Gloria, was often suicidal, in and out of mental hospitals, heavily altered by electroshock and psychiatric drugs. For one year of grade school, her father was away in England, leaving her alone with her mom. During that year, Gloria attempted suicide twice. Chana cared for her mom, cleaned up after those attempts, and never told her dad about them. Later, when Chana was a young woman, she learned that her mother was a lesbian. Her depression began when her woman lover ended their relationship and said they both needed to "be good wives and open their legs for their husbands". Medical professionals tried to "help" her by getting her to adjust to her heterosexual marriage. This sense that she was broken, and this denial of her core self, crushed Gloria for a long time.But the human spirit is a powerful thing. In the 1970s, Chana and Gloria both came out as lesbians and had an exciting, glorious time riding the wave of cultural change and liberation. Over time, they healed much of the hurt in themselves and between them.This book is many things. It's a history of social change, from the repression of the 50s through the social revolutions of the 1960s and 70s to Chana's state-recognized same-sex marriage in the 21st century. Chana was in the thick of these revolutions, active first in the antiwar movement and then the women's and gay liberation movements. She did a lot of classic hippie things, hitchhiking, crossing the country in a VW van, living on the land in northern California, being under FBI surveilance...that part was vivid cultural history.It's also a portrait of a mother-daughter relationship, from the reversal of her childhood, where the young Chana has to put her heavily medicated mother to bed and be sure to stub out her cigarette, through coming out, communication, and healing, to caring for her mother again in Gloria's final illness.Finally, and in some ways for me most powerfully, it's a detailed tracing of Chana's own internal emotional experiences and growth. Some of the moments that grabbed me most were the ones where Chana describes the actual physical sensations of emotion, conscious and unconscious, in her body -- the heavy tightness that comes when we have fears we won't name, the lightness that comes with freedom. Tightness in the chest, the rush of blood in the struck me that she must have really taken herself back into these moments in her mind to write the book.I found this a very hard book to put down. It's an exciting, true-to-life, loving, difficult book. I recommend it highly.

  • Annie
    2018-10-18 17:08

    It was the title that got me, then the cover and then the content of this memoir! Wonderful book of a really awful, lonely and frightening childhood. I have worked with troubled kids in the past and this story really resonated with me, my heart went out to the author as this story was inspired by her childhood.You would think that a child with a harrowing upbringing would loathe the parent, in fact it can be just the opposite. The need for love by and from a parent is all consuming with kids just as with the author who wanted a whole and normal relationship with her very troubled mother and for most of her childhood ended up being the adult and taking care of the both of them. The story starts out with seven year old Karen (the author) and her dad going to visit her mother Gloria who held a rifle to her head and had the gun not jammed she would have found herself splattered on the wall instead of at the mental hospital.Her mother is in and out of the hospital throughout Karen’s childhood, occasionally coming home on a pass for some brief and very scary times. Karen must make sure her mother does not commit suicide or pass out from too many drugs or burn the house down with her ever present cigarettes… Karen is left alone with her mom most days and nights as her father who, can absolutely not handle his wife rushes off to work each day and works late each night. It is not until farther into the book we find out that part of the mental anguish the mother has suffered is because she is gay and in the late 50’s this was still a very “taboo” subject.In grade school we see Karen being left alone to parent her parent while her spineless, frustrated without a clue father goes overseas for a job and leaves Karen alone in the house with her mom. This is the part that broke my heart, with neighbors coming over and trying to help and at the same time wanting to put some distance between them and this troubled family. The story moves on through Karen and Gloria’s life and we see the relationship and the love with these two remarkable women grow stronger.Gloria gets some horrendous treatment at the hospital, shock therapy a large assortment of drugs all to cure her from being gay and it isn't until years later that mother and daughter finally heal and bond as Karen also comes out as a lesbian.This mother and daughter relationship is heartwarming, harrowing and from the story written here I can clearly see Karen (Chana) is doing just fine. A wonderful read!

  • Kirsten
    2018-11-11 12:17

    This book was SO great. I picked it up randomly at the library because I like books about how people deal with mental illness and how they overcome great adversity. From the description on the back, I thought the mother holds a rifle to her daughter's head, but it jams, and then the mother goes to the mental hospital. But really, the mother is trying to commit suicide. So for the first 176 pages, the book is a just an account of how horrible this poor girl's childhood is. She write lots of little memories of what happened when she grew up and had to take care of her mother, who had to spend time in mental hospitals in the 50's and was treated with 18 rounds of electoshocks, then came home and was heavily overmedicated with the psych drugs they used then. Her father took off when she was 8! But the book made a 180 degree turn-around when she discovers the women's movement and learns how to fight male oppression and patriarchy. Her mother makes an amazing turn-around and life gets so much better for both of them. Both of them turn out to be lesbians and they become closer than ever. The narrator moves to San Francisco and experiences the 70's as a lesbian and later her mother moves out too. Some of her experiences are so typical for the times that it was almost cliche, but still great, because it's a biography, and true. I'm only saying cliche because I've heard similar stories from my friends' lives. I really related to the author. She was so honest and described her feelings and her relationship with her mother so well, I really felt like I understood everything she talked about. I cried in the end. It was great.

  • Joanna Biggar
    2018-10-20 17:24

    RIDING FURY HOMEFor readers who are Jewish radical feminist lesbian activists, this book is a natural. But for readers who claim none of the above, like myself, it is a compelling journey into worlds if not unknown, at least not experienced. For any reader who is nourished by a wonderful, even if painful story, Chana Wilson’s is an immensely rewarding read.And painful it is to watch the young woman she was repeatedly enter relationships bound to wound her and fail. Even more painful to witness the child she was, criminally abandoned by the adults in her life, left to cope alone with her drugged and suicidal mother. But it is also a story with innumerable and surprising twists. The revelation of her mother’s hidden lesbianism as the cause of the inhumane medical treatment she received, and her mother’s eventual acceptance of herself leads to the flowering of both mother and daughter into a new, confident relationship. It is gratifying to discover the strong, accomplished woman Chana grew into despite the odds, and a pleasure to read her clear and moving prose as she reveals her life.This is a book beyond categories, a human book, a book with the power to touch everyone.

  • Amber
    2018-11-12 15:04

    This book is...A beautiful and sweet memoir of a mother-A fun romp for a lesbian to have a lesbian mother/best friend-A glimpse at the sexual/antiwar/feminist revolution-A difference in generations on being lesbian-A glimpse of psychiatry done wrong. -A glimpse at seeing a loved one passing on. In my selfish interests, I found it incredibly interesting to see the framework of the feminist revolution. I understood on some level the idea of denying men entirely, even for sexual needs, but what struck me was also how being a lesbian is also tied to breaking from conventions in the sexual revolution, ie fighting monogamy. I also found myself comparing this novel to The Bell Jar in terms of the electroshock therapy.It's truly a shame Gloria wasn't able to write her own story, because it surely is one hell of one. (Finally, I love Chanda Wilson speaking of her mother's death, because I am wholely unprepared with handling deaths of the future)I love this book and I love its honesty. It's not only a sweet memoir or a cultural recording, but a truly unique story to be told. I am grateful for it, and for giving me a lot to think about.

  • Elizabeth
    2018-10-27 15:59

    I was hooked from page one. I couldn't get enough of "Riding Fury Home" into me fast enough. About forty pages back at about page 220 I started feeling like I had to push my way through words, ideas, language, and this incredible author's writing. Something has either stalled in me or maybe stalled in the book. I'm not tasting and savoring and lingering and feeling energy anymore. I'm going to set this book aside for a little while and come back. I am certain that I'll come back. I feel too connected to the characters and to too many things to describe, and to the author not to return. I'm going to say goodbye for a week or two and see if I feel refreshed and ready to start the second half of my relationship with everyone and everything in this book, especially Chana Wilson. I will finish this book. It deserves to be finished, and it really is "that" good.Please don't let anything I've written deter you from reading "Riding Fury Home" by: Chana Wilson. You would be losing a lot if my words influenced you in any way.

  • Leann
    2018-11-17 19:08

    This book is amazing. I couldn't put it down. I didn't expect to be shocked at anything to be truthful. I thought I had heard it all. But, you really can't know the anguish another person has suffered unless you have too. I knew that people are cruel and that homosexuals are teased, bullied, and discriminated against. But, I don't think that any of those conditions are things that I have not also faced as a heterosexual. The conditions mentioned in the book were far above anything I could have imagined. This is not bullying or being left out cause you don't fit in. This is torture and quite frankly inhumane. This is not the kind of behavior society should condone. This book is a must read, not for homosexuals, not for the friends of gay community, this should be for everyone who wishes to live in a civil society.Kudos to Chana Wilson for her eye opening book!

  • Michele
    2018-10-18 15:15

    This book is nuts! The author's mother tries to kill herself no less than four times and it is all because she is a lesbian and her lover decided to end their affair and called her a dyke. So she gets extremely depressed as most people do after a premature breakup and she starts to see a shrink who specializes in homosexual issues. His solution? Electroshock treatments. She gets 18 of them because she's GAY!Her daughter ends up taking care of her, which she had no business doing, she was just a kid. Her father doesn't really take care of his wife, he leaves the country for an entire year........and so on. This book was fascinating in an ohmygod I cannot believe this ever happened way. Good for a book, bad if it's your life.

  • Lauren
    2018-11-17 12:56

    I am 20 pages in and there are so many things to love about this book. The cover photo is great, the topics are (of course) something I'm interested in, the chapters are 3-4 pages each (which I really love when I'm having busy weeks), AND to top it all off Dorothy Allison wrote a glowing review on the can you not love this book even if you've just started?!UPDATE: Now that I have finished the book, I can say it lived up to my expectations. Great book, compelling story and insightful.

  • Diane Yannick
    2018-10-23 13:09

    I was very glad to get to the end of this book. I did not feel that it was particularly well written or at all enlightening. I realized part way through that I didn't really like/care about the author or her mother. Repetitious and definitely not worth all the words. My favorite part was the cover.

  • Beka
    2018-11-13 19:10

    *First Reads Won*This book was written very well to express the thoughts and feelings, the pain and sorrow, of the author. It gets the point across that humans can be extremely inhuman to things they don't declare "normal". It shows that the past is generally not something to be proud of, especially if you are destroying humans.

  • Megan
    2018-10-30 18:57

    When is a memoir not a memoir? When it’s also a peek into a part of the past that we are not always willing to let ourselves examine too closely. Read my full review here:

  • Tinav
    2018-11-12 17:23

    A hauntingly beautiful mother/daughter story, this marvelous book is also a scathing indictment of the way 20th century society treated homosexuals.It shows by example where we were, where we are now, and how far we still have to go. You will laugh, cry, and be inspired.

  • Meg
    2018-11-16 16:24

    I'm honestly surprised not to have encountered this memoir in a graduate course on 2nd wave feminism. Very genuine and clear. No sugarcoating here, but no getting caught up in details, either. A very fluid, readable literary memoir.