Read Out from the Underworld by Heather Siegel Online


Heather Siegel was six years old when her mother disappeared, sending her father into a tailspin that took Heather and her siblings down with him—from a comfortable suburban home to a barely habitable basement apartment, a dark world they soon found themselves fighting to return to from the exile of foster care, then fighting even harder to escape. Forty years later, HeathHeather Siegel was six years old when her mother disappeared, sending her father into a tailspin that took Heather and her siblings down with him—from a comfortable suburban home to a barely habitable basement apartment, a dark world they soon found themselves fighting to return to from the exile of foster care, then fighting even harder to escape. Forty years later, Heather Siegel tells the remarkable story of how she and her siblings, Jaz and Greg, banded together to find out what happened to their mother and fight their way Out from the Underworld with nothing but their wits, determination, unbreakable bonds and gifts for humor and compassion to sustain them. A wrenching, inspiring story filled with heartbreak, hope and love, Out from the Underworld will move you to laughter and tears....

Title : Out from the Underworld
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780990619406
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 220 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Out from the Underworld Reviews

  • Aditi
    2019-05-17 17:10

    “To those who are struggling. To talk about a struggle, you're likely to forget about it. To be shown a struggle, you're likely not to forget it. But, to live through a struggle, you'll understand it.”----Valerie OwensHeather Siegel, an American author, pens her memoir called, Out from the Underworldwhere she narrates about her mother's sudden disappearance, living under shabby conditions, abandonment, foster care and finally standing strong through all the challenges in her life.Synopsis:Heather Siegel was six years old when her mother disappeared, sending her father into a tailspin that took Heather and her siblings down with him—from a comfortable suburban home to a barely habitable basement apartment, a dark world they soon found themselves fighting to return to from the exile of foster care, then fighting even harder to escape.Forty years later, Heather Siegel tells the remarkable story of how she and her siblings, Jaz and Greg, banded together to find out what happened to their mother and fight their way Out from the Underworld with nothing but their wits, determination, unbreakable bonds and gifts for humor and compassion to sustain them. A wrenching, inspiring story filled with heartbreak, hope and love, Out from the Underworld will move you to laughter and tears. Heather is left abandoned by her own mother, who was a gorgeous yet a hippie woman, along with her elder sister, Jaz and her younger brother, Greg. The author narrates her painful journey from her father's underground basement apartment at his parents' home to foster care to the abuses to the feeling of abandonment at such a tender age.Heather describes her father as a good man and even though he couldn't provide basic shelter for his children, Heather still loves him with vigor. All through her childhood while growing up, she bonded well with her sister, Jaz, since her brother, Greg got placed under a good foster family. On the other hand, Heather and Jaz had not much luck and went through a lot of challenges and difficulties like abuse while growing up. But the pain of their mother leaving them under such harsh conditions, never left Heather for a single moment whereas her sister was brave and strong enough to mask that pain with her smart attitude. Their struggle for survival through the storm filled Heather with hope to move forward in her life.The author pens a very honest and heart-felt memoir with her evocative yet disturbing narrative style. From the very first page, the author's crisp words captivated my mind. The descriptions are vividly portrayed with careful intricacy and detailing of each scenes, thus it let me see through her than child's eyes. The writing style is fantastic as she layered with the right emotions to make the story a page-turner. Her broken and lost childhood only made her stronger and transformed her into a better person.I believe people who've grown up in a foster care and have had a broken childhood can easily relate to the author's painful journey. Th emotions that the author try to capture only made my heart fill with sadness and gratification. And the way she unfolded her whole life story forty years later, made me see it like it only happened yesterday. Her life story is miserable yet thoroughly inspiring enough to see how wrong choices by the parents can destroy the childhood of their children, how responsibility is the one main thing that holds a family together and how hope helps us battle any war in this world. Verdict:This is a must read memoir for all those who belong from a broken home and a broken childhood. Courtesy:I received this book for a blog tour, and I'm glad that I got to read this memoir.

  • Melinda
    2019-05-03 14:01

    Wow!!! I have to say this story left me shredded. How could a parent voluntarily place their children in foster care? How could a mother walk out on her children, tearing the family apart? How would the children fare from the abuses suffered from foster care as well as from family? Yes, you read correctly, Heather Siegel shares her heartbreaking story of an unimaginable childhood.A story of resilience, inspiring through utterly tragic circumstances. I shed plenty of tears as I tore through this book. I was left with completely empathy for Heather, admiration as well, she pulled through surviving what very well could have destroyed her. Enduring what no child should.Heather Siegel clearly shares her story in a solid and compelling fashion as she revisits childhood through adulthood. Her descriptive style leaves you feeling as if you are a helpless fly on the wall observing all the chaos, unable to shelter and help these innocents, your hands bound. Painfully heartbreaking story. Heather Siegel possesses strength and resilience. Quite a moving and memorable story.

  • Kathleen Pooler
    2019-04-29 10:00

    I was hooked into this story from the first page of Heather’s prologue when she recalls a day she visited her father with her baby daughter. With heartbreaking detail, she presents the heart of her story—how the father she loves has not changed his ways. I sense there is a painful childhood story behind her words and I am driven to keep reading. She starts the story the day her mother left her, age five, her eight-year-old sister Jaz, eight and her baby brother Greg in a motel room while she left with a stranger named Slim, stating, ”If you need me, I’ll be upstairs.” It ended up being the last time they saw their mother alive.The author then takes us on the grueling journey of trying to find their mother while living with their father who has been forced by his own lack of ambition to live in the moldy basement of his parent’s home. The squalor and dampness of the setting are palpable. Their grandparents who live upstairs are cold and non-responsive to their grandchildren’s needs, leaving them feeling even more abandoned. The author’s ability to bring the reader into the scene through vivid sensory details is stunning. Her child’s voice is so realistic and believable that I immediately bond with her and her sister Jaz as she takes me deeper into their horrific story of neglect and abandonment, out from the underground basement apartment, through foster care and back to the basement. This voice is reminiscent of Frank McCourt’s voice in Angela’s Ashes and ‘Tis and of Jeannette Walls in The Glass Castle. The reader can feel and taste the hollowness, confusion and terror of children left to fend for themselves. Her humor provides a sense of relief for the reader as a sense of resilience in these children is highlighted.As painful and dreary as these circumstances are, Heather turns this story into a message of love and transformation. Despite the abandonment she feels, she never stops loving her father or hoping he will change for the better. The strength and resilience of these two sisters is awe-inspiring and serves as a consolation to the reader. In the midst of all they endure, they have a close bond that gets them through.Heather then brings the reader through to resolution where the children all find their way out of the underground to healthy, productive lives. The reader sees this strength in these children and therefore feels hope throughout the story. They not only survive, they overcome and in doing so provide a message of hope for all who have endured childhood neglect and abuse.Heather’s writing is concise, descriptive and riveting. Once I started reading this memoir, I did not want to put it down. In addition to being an engaging, satisfying read, I highly recommend this memoir for anyone working with neglected or abandoned children.

  • David Watson
    2019-05-13 12:25

    Heather was six years old when her world was turned upside down. Her mother vanished leaving her family in a tailspin. Heather, along with her brother and sister were forced from a nice home to a dark basement where they lived with their father who never got over the loss of his wife. The children were eventually forced in and out of foster care with their only goals being to find out what happened to their mother and find a new home outside of the basement.Out From The Underworld by Heather Siegel is a memoir about a dark childhood, but it’s also a story of hope and proof that patterns can be broken. The writing in the story is excellent and the characters seem like people you would see in your every day life, because they are. This is a story about neglect and abandonment but none of the characters in it are bad, they are more like shades of grey. Everyone has their own issues and what we have in this story is three siblings who learned that the only people they could trust 100 % was themselves.I was impressed with the detailed memories that Heather has of this period of her life and I loved the fact that it seemed like this book was written from a kid’s point of view. Meaning that it wasn’t written from a viewpoint of an adult looking back on her childhood, the impression I got was that Heather was remembering everything from when she was a child and writing it as she saw it from her younger self’s viewpoint.For instance one of my favorite scenes was early in the book when Heather’s grandma is complaining about her life and says she wishes she could move to Canada. Heather’s sister right away asks what’s stopping her from moving to Canada. Her grandma acts shocked and mentions several reasons why she can’t pick up and leave. I thought this was a great example of how children and adults look at the world differently. For kids its easy as saying this would make me happy so I’m going to do it, while an adult is more cynical and will come up with several reasons why they can’t be happy.Another thing that really sticks out about Out From The Underworld is the realism. Heather talks about some horrible things in her childhood but she describes good times also. She brings up some fond memories of one of the foster families she lived with but we hear of the family’s dark side as well. We also hear how everyones lives get better when Heather’s father gets a regular girlfriend but things eventually go bad. Another shade of grey in Heather’s life is her father. There are several instances in the book where you see that he is not really a good parental figure, but you also see instances where he shows love for his kids and because of his own upbringing never knew how to be a real father.Out From The Underworld is a coming of age story by a woman who has suffered through more than most people suffer through. You hear about Heather’s world view and you see her opinions on life, working and school change as she gets older. The best part of this book though is that all the kids in the book managed to go on and live happy lives, but not all the people in the book had the same transformation. I think Out From The Underworld is a great example of how a memoir should be written and I hope other people who live under similar circumstances read this book and learn that it is possible to escape the cycle of a bad home life.

  • Barbara Bamberger
    2019-05-01 09:15

    In my mind, it had been easier to idolize the dead parent and to blame the live one…but she’d left us, of her own volition, and that, I had to admit, wasn’t his fault.When Heather, age five, her older sister, Jaz, and baby brother, Greg, were abandoned by their mother, it was only the beginning of sorrows. It couldn’t have been much more macabre, since their father, who lived by choice in a basement—not a finished basement but a dank cellar, with low ceilings and pipes and boilers, a hideout more than a residence—also worked in a funeral home. For outings he would take his brooding brood of three to his workplace to cavort among the caskets and survey such bizarre features as the make-up table, where he made corpses (once including Heather’s mom) look their best. To literally climb out of the basement into the light was a challenge that, slowly but surely, Heather and her siblings managed to accomplish.But before the light, there were other forms of darkness, primary among those the periods spent in foster care. Being told that their dad just had to get himself together and they would be home soon, the “care” they got at times bordered on abuse, certainly neglect. In the case of baby Greg, violence was perpetrated; in the case of the girls, sex played a role in shaping their view of life in the “homes” they were consigned to. In one case, Heather innocently strove to please a “smother mother” who clung to her, desperately afraid to be alone. All the while, their pot-smoking father was pursuing numerous relationships with pretty young women; almost any kind of female could apply for life in the basement, as long as she looked young and luridly attractive, not unlike the mother that Heather, Jaz, and Greg had lost. When the youngsters attended her funeral, it should have brought a kind of closure. Prompted by a weird encounter with a Ouija board, they realized that their mother would continue to haunt them until they were able to piece together the circumstances of her violent demise.Looking at those years of emotional chaos from the security of a stable family life that she has worked hard to attain, and with creative talent bolstered by an MFA in writing, Heather Siegel portrays her semi-orphaned childhood as harsh, eerie, and very real. There’s no doubt that kids who have been warehoused in foster care, who have been left to wonder what happened to a disappeared parent, even kids brought up in families with a parent who was simply mentally ill or addicted or for whatever reason incompetent and inattentive, will feel resonance with Heather’s harrowing but ultimately hopeful coming-of-age saga. Barbara Bamberger Scott, 2015 (This review first appeared at

  • Micki Peluso
    2019-05-11 12:19

    Out from the UnderworldBy Heather Siegel“How did I get so lucky?" Heather Siegel asks her sweet baby daughter. As a survivor of child neglect, abandonment and abuse, she is lucky. Yet she paid full price for it as she flashes back to a childhood brimming over with memories — mostly bad. Somehow the good early years with her parents, especially her mother, offer strength on her journey toward survival.Heather is abandoned by her mother at six-years-old, along with her eight-year-old sister, Jaz, and her baby brother, Greg. She relates her memories of those times with candor, resentment and a bit of mostly dark humor usually spewing from her sardonic sister, Jaz.Her blond Nordic mother, so beautiful, albeit a bit of a hippie, yet light hearted and hopeful, disappears, leaving her father unable to cope with his own loss. He puts the girls into foster homes, separated from Greg, who is placed separately. Only till he gets his head together, he tells them; but that never happens. The children spend the next six years in foster homes sharing every other weekend with their father. Greg is lucky to be placed in a fairly good home, the girls not so much. Heather bonds to her one foster mother more out of need than love.Jaz hides her hurt with sarcasm and a smart mouth, not allowing the blisters on her soul to show. Unlike her sister, Heather cannot hide mourning her beautiful mother, wondering why she left; wondering if she’ll ever come home — home to her father’s basement apartment, dark and dank — the underworld. Author Heather Siegel writes a debut memoir that is often painful to read. Yet she never loses her innate hope that things will change for the better. The author bares her soul in this story so that those also abandoned and neglected and abused, can relate, while other readers may cringe at the heartache laced through this coming-of-age story. Due to graphic sex and language this book is recommended for adults only.The story told through the point of view of Heather, Jaz and Greg, comes to a riveting end, shocking and painful yet offering a closure of sorts. This is a haunting memoir, disturbing at times yet grasps onto readers taking them along for an emotional ride of ups and downs into an unforeseen yet somewhat satisfying ending.Micki Peluso, author of . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang.

  • Gmr
    2019-05-07 13:02

    This recollection of thoughts and memories takes us from the author's childhood through adolescence and into adulthood. She and her siblings survived much more than a broken home. From the moment her mother made a seemingly selfish decision, it was almost all downhill from there. From a self-imploding father unable to step out of his own shadow to care for those in his charge to a parade of women that would each leave their mark (for better or worse) on their young lives, the eventual realization reached was that no matter how much they wished, hoped, and dreamed that their remaining parent would rise above to save them like a phoenix from the ashes, it simply was not in their cards. So, the had to make their own luck and reach towards a happier ending.It was so hard to watch this little family within a family be broken up again and again with atrocities committed against them that none should have to bear. It was inspiring to see how they pulled together to take care of each other while still reaching out to try and rescue the lost parent that still lived. Jaz may have been a hardcore-kick-butt-and-apologize-later type of girl, but deep down she was the "mother" between them, always guiding, sharing, and her own way. Greg, their brother, was a gentle spirit, and carried that kindness with him despite the tortures others inflicted upon him. As for Heather, she's more than simply our narrator or a victim of circumstance, she's a survivor, and considering where she came from any sort of normalcy achieved would be a celebratory point. So, settle for what she could get? Nope! She shot for the stars and while fame and fortune may not have been the end result, a life in the sun, with loved ones to cherish, and even a chance to make amends with her father, are definitely not something to shrink from.In conclusion, an honest share of a life that was much more thorns than roses but with an ending that opened more doors than it closed, for the better. It's been said you never know what you're capable of until put to the test. Well, when their feet were to the fire, they didn't shirk away.**review copy received in exchange for my honest review...full post can be seen on my site**

  • Diane
    2019-05-17 12:00

    Out from the Underworld offers something different in the memoir world: its title sounds like science fiction, it reads with all the compelling drama of a thriller, yet it actually is the story of Heather Siegel, whose mother disappeared from the family and whose father abandoned his children: a story developed with all the trappings of a good mystery.Forty years later she is still asking questions, and Out from the Underworld documents not only her survival of a broken childhood and family, but it's lasting (and surprisingly positive) effects on her own family.It's about how adults make choices, their effects on children, and in turn how further choices are made for future generations - and most of all, Out from the Underworld details not just survival, adaptation and healing, but how Siegel forged a life above and beyond any label of 'victim' or 'damaged' - and perhaps this is its greatest strength, setting the read apart from a mere story of struggle and survival.The 'Underworld' in Siegel's story is more than the basement apartment that thinly veiled personal hells: it's about mental attitude and how lasting, positive change is achieved against all odds, and it's about accepting parents for who they are rather than who they "should" or could become.Any who have struggled with their own family hell and idiosyncrasies (either minor or major) will find Out from the Underworld illuminates the course of one woman's transformation and, in the process, serves as a beacon guiding pathways of possibility for others to follow.

  • T.W. Brown
    2019-05-06 15:59

    Heather Siegel's book, Out from the Underworld is a tale all too common in our broken society. If we were not immersed ourselves, then I imagine most people know somebody who had a very non-Brady childhood. The book is solid writing and tells Heather's story from the early days on and is full of unsavory and unpleasant moments. Have there been children who endured worse? Sure, but that is not the point. Here is one author laying her soul bare and sharing her LESSONS. I never understand people who "can't finish due to the language" or whatever. What is here in these pages is an uncensored look at ONE story. There is depth and emotion from the author that will pull you in and keep you turning the pages. Is it sad? Yes. But is it truth? Absolutely. This is a story worth reading.Everybody will find the parts that resonate with them specifically, but more than anything, I think what I took away from this was a person who has the ability to take a horrible situation and, instead of being a stereotype that falls into the same pattern, makes a conscious effort to rise ABOVE. Too often, people dealt a bad hand use it as an excuse to repeat bad behavior. I have always found that weak at best and more of a construct of having that idea preached at them from the mindless TV drones and people who think they are helping by providing such excuses. Bravo to Ms. Siegel for sharing such a raw tale, and doing so in such eloquent fashion.I was provided an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Amelia
    2019-04-25 10:08

    The author spins the unlikely but true tale of her bizarre childhood, which involved much more darkness than most of us had to endure as youngsters. She and her siblings were abandoned by their mother, given up to foster care multiple times by their womanizing father, ignored by grandparents, mistreated by foster mothers and foster siblings, and just generally had some pretty rotten experiences most of us like to believe are not the norm for children.The author paints beautiful and often tragic word pictures that convey the emotions and uncertainty of the child she was as well as the feel of the period of society, particularly the sixties and seventies, and the atmosphere of the places she lived and the people she encountered.Clearly, she is extremely talented and gifted with words and especially the expression of emotion. The fact that these children emerged as reasonably functional adults is nothing short of miraculous. The narrative is beautiful, powerful, and disturbing.

  • Julie
    2019-05-19 09:19

    Infuriating and horrific in the way the children were raised. It's told with such brutal honesty and matter of fact that it takes me a second to realize what Heather (the author and middle child) just told me. I re-read parts to make sure it's truly what I just read. I am so proud of the adults the three made for themselves. They worked for what they now have and didn't use excuses to be lazy or feel entitled. I really enjoyed reading this book. If you three (Greg, Heather, or Jaz) are able to read this, please know that I am so sorry about your Mom. It sounds like she might have truly been mentally ill, and the medical field wasn't nearly as good back then as it is now. Just know that she is looking down on you three and so very proud of you. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I won't forget it.)

  • Sarah Cottrell
    2019-05-21 11:18

    Heather Siegel is a master storyteller like none I have encountered. She cleverly blended the wisdom of hindsight with the magic and innocence of the voice of childhood in order to tell her story with clarity, astuteness, humor, and suspense. Her attention to detail from descriptions of adult actions and speech down to living conditions and emotional responses leave the reader utterly and completely wanting to scoop up her six year-old self and protect her from the kinds of hard knock that leaves permanent scars.By the end of the book I was in tears. The final conclusion brought closure and a sense of satisfaction, but also a bittersweet feeling of worry for this woman who had endured so much.

  • Lisa Nevola
    2019-04-29 16:19

    Out From the Underworld was a remarkable true story about Heather Siegel's fight out from the darkness of foster care and the bone-chilling disappearance of her mother at a young age.Out from the Underworld pulls the reader in from the first chapter and has them hooked until the very last page, leaving the reader with wanting more.Heather Siegel's truth and rawness leaves the reader quickly turning the page to know more. Out from the Underworld will have your emotions running high with her story of heartbreak, tragedy, and forgiveness.Simply put, Out from the Underworld is a must read!!

  • Ellen
    2019-04-25 09:18

    ELLEN reviewed itRiveting,Harrowing, and beyond amazing to me that these 3 children lived through this horrific childhood.Not only did they live through this but each one has become successful in their own right. An extremely powerful read!!!

  • Ashley
    2019-05-25 17:00

    I'm not a huge lover of non-fiction reads, but every so often I do enjoy delving into one. Some of my favourite non-fiction reads have been ANGELA'S ASHES, A STOLEN LIFE, HIDDEN GIRL, and THE GLASS CASTLE. What do all these reads have in common? They are all based on thriving under intense and unbearable circumstances. OUT FROM THE UNDERWORLD by Heather Siegel was no different.RELEASE DATE: April 2015PUBLISHER: Greenpoint PressDISCLAIMER: Novel was sent in exchange for a honest reviewSYNOPSIS: Heather Siegel was six years old when her mother disappeared, sending her father into a tailspin that took Heather and her siblings down with him—from a comfortable suburban home to a barely habitable basement apartment, a dark world they soon found themselves fighting to return to from the exile of foster care, then fighting even harder to escape. Forty years later, Heather Siegel tells the remarkable story of how she and her siblings, Jaz and Greg, banded together to find out what happened to their mother and fight their way Out from the Underworld with nothing but their wits, determination, unbreakable bonds and gifts for humor and compassion to sustain them. A wrenching, inspiring story filled with heartbreak, hope and love, Out from the Underworld will move you to laughter and tears.REVIEW: This book is good - short enough to get her point across but deep enough to really feel the pain of the author.Heather and her two siblings are snatched away by their mother for a 'jaunt' to Manhattan. Their mother, ever flamboyant, erratic, and bohemian, leaves their hotel suite never to return. The children are shuffled back to their under-prepared father, a funeral director, who cannot fathom the idea of raising 3 kids on his own. The three children are then split and torn between foster homes, both abusive and unfit, for a total of almost 10 years. Read how Heather and her siblings survived foster home, their unfit father, and a life always haunted by their mother. This novel is quite good - Siegel does an excellent job at setting the scene without being too descriptive and overbearing. The novel is almost written with child-like perspective, giving the reader the ability to see Siegel's plight through the eyes of her 6 - 20 year old self (as opposed to a writer just retelling their story at age 40 or so). The novel is so honest, it's heartbreaking. The obstacles in the children's lives are ever-apparent. These children do not catch a break, and it makes you yearn for them. No child should feel the harsh sting of being rejected by a parent. No child should feel the repercussions of a woman-chasing father. No child should feel grossly unsupported the way these children do. No child should grow up in a foster home where beatings are a regular thing. The obstacles these children go through before the age of 15 are extraordinary, and really go to show how successful these children are only for the strength and bond of their own siblings. This is truly a story about love - regardless of what has happened to Siegel, the overwhelming love and affection she has for her foster families and her own father is apparent. Her strength is awe-inspiring and something I could probably only hope to strive for. A riveting memoir!

  • Ryder Islington
    2019-05-09 16:00

    Posted by Ryder Islington, author of Ultimate Justice, a Trey Fontaine Mystery I’m not usually one for reading memoirs but Out From The Underworld caught me by surprise. In it, Heather Siegel tells the story of her childhood, as her mother disappears and her dad moves Heather and her siblings into the basement of his childhood home. Crowded, dark, and musty, the basement reminds her of Persephone’s trip to the underworld. But Heather and her siblings survive their dad’s craziness, and their grandparents’ rules as they decide that they must find out what happened to their mother. Ms. Siegel pulls the reader into the dark, into the insecurity, into the confusion only a child can suffer when things go wrong and no one has answers. I found in it dark humor, and hope. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story. Below you’ll find a book description, an author bio, a list of other sites where you can find reviews, interviews, guest posts and chances to win a copy of this poignant book. Also, there are ways to contact the author and a chance to win a copy of Out From the Underworld at the bottom of this page. Book Description:Heather Siegel was six years old when her mother disappeared, sending her father into a tailspin that took Heather and her siblings down with him— from a comfortable suburban home to a barely habitable basement apartment, a dark world they soon found themselves fighting to return to from the exile of foster care, then fighting even harder to escape.Forty years later, Heather Siegel tells the remarkable story of how she and her siblings, Jaz and Greg, banded together to find out what happened to their mother and fight their way Out from the Underworld with nothing but their wits, determination, unbreakable bonds and gifts for humor and compassion to sustain them. A wrenching, inspiring story filled with heartbreak, hope and love, Out from The Underworld will move you to laughter and tears.Author’s Bio:Heather Siegel holds an MFA in nonfiction writing from The New School. Her work has appeared on and in The Mother Magazine and Author Magazine, as well as in various trade publications. She was a finalist for the 2010 Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Award in Nonfiction Writing, the 2011 San Francisco Writers Conference Nonfiction Writing Award, the Carolina Wren Press 2012 Doris Bakwin Award and the 2012 Kore Press First Book Award. A multi-creative person with interests in the arts, nutrition, health and beauty, she has founded several independent businesses, including a coffeehouse, a café, an organic juice bar and a natural beauty bar. She currently lives with her husband, Jon, and daughter, Julia, in the woods of Long Island in a house filled with light.

  • Victor Gentile
    2019-05-06 13:16

    Heather Siegel in her new book, “Out From The Underworld” published by Greenpoint Press gives us the story of Heather Siegel.From the back cover: Heather Siegel was six years old when her mother disappeared, sending her father into a tailspin that took Heather and her siblings down with him—from a comfortable suburban home to a barely habitable basement apartment, a dark world they soon found themselves fighting to return to from the exile of foster care, then fighting even harder to escape.Forty years later, Heather Siegel tells the remarkable story of how she and her siblings, Jaz and Greg, banded together to find out what happened to their mother and fight their way Out from the Underworld with nothing but their wits, determination, unbreakable bonds and gifts for humor and compassion to sustain them. A wrenching, inspiring story filled with heartbreak, hope and love, Out from the Underworld will move you to laughter and tears. Child neglect and abandonment how can anyone really survive? That is the question I had when I found Ms. Siegel’s memoir of her life. Normally I would not get this book however I was intensely curious as it says that she overcame that background, I had to find out how. Her mother left her at age five that is when her life went flying out of control. Her father couldn’t take the loss so they went from a nice house to living in the moldy basement of her grandparent’s house. The father is distant, the grandparents are distant and then, one day, he sends them off to live with Foster Parents. The events that happen in this book are not easy stuff to take. It is not meant to be. These are the events of Ms. Siegel’s life and she didn’t have an easy time of it. The great thing is the title of this book is “Out From The Underworld” and that is exactly what it is. Ms. Siegel and her siblings went from the basement into the sunshine of their lives. This is an epic undertaking. As I said it is not an easy read but it is an exceptional read.Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from IRead Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  • Stacie
    2019-05-03 15:09

    Heather takes us into her childhood inside a dark, musty, and moldy basement where she lives with her sister, brother, and father. Her mother left them and then died. Her father can't seem to function without her and escapes to work at the funeral home or on his dates with women he met from personal ads. Her grandparents prefer to ignore the fact that they all live in their basement. When her father can't seem to get things under control, the siblings are sent to live in various foster homes, Eventually, Heather and her siblings finish their childhood years with their father in a basement with no windows.Heather shares bits of memories of her mother, ways that she and her siblings survive, and her dreams for their future. Traveling through the pages, Heather grows from a five-year-old to an adult, going to college and working two jobs to pay for it. Through all the hardships, Heather always found a way to appear happy, normal, and sane. With both of her parents suffering from mental illness, it is a wonder she and her siblings survived at all.OUT FROM THE UNDERWORLD is one of those stories that shows how people can rise from the ashes and prove society wrong. If you have a dream, intelligence, resourcefulness, and a sense of humor, you can accomplish anything. Heather Siegel and her siblings survived harsh conditions, horrible memories, and tragic childhoods and came out ahead. Her story proves that people can rise above their fate and overcome. She doesn't spend time in the book whining about her sad life, her father's poor choices, or lack of family to support them. She instead shares how she and her siblings stuck together and focuses on the few angels who supported them and made them feel special. Heather also is thankful for the many books she disappeared into during her childhood. She is another example of how reading can set you free. Kudos to Heather and her siblings for finding the silver lining in life and making the best of the situation at hand.

  • Tricia
    2019-05-21 16:04

    I love books like Siegel's, true account stories of wretched childhoods. Reading this kind of book is the equivalent of gawking at an accident on the highway. You have to look. You know you shouldn't but you can't help it. I can only read them in moderation because some authors write so well you can feel their pain and it is so disturbing to relive their childhoods. Siegel achieved that feeling for me. Abandoned by her mother and essentially her father, she suffered through the foster care system since early childhood. Not only did I want to reach through the book and smack her father, I wanted to make the paternal grandparents disappear indefinitely. How grandparents could allow their grandchildren to be raised such as Siegel and her siblings were is beyond me. Shuttled back and forth between foster homes and their father's dungeon basement residence for weekend visitation had to have messed with their heads immensely. Do you love me? Do you not love me?I like that throughout the book Siegel contends that some of her thoughts or impressions could be and probably were distorted or not fully realized because of her age. A six year old absolutely remembers and sees events differently than a 12 year old or an adult. Not all memoirist acknowledge this fact. Based on what she does acknowledge as filtered information, without the filter, her childhood would have been even worse.Spoiler Alert: Despite their childhoods, it was nice to learn each sibling grew into a responsible, caring, determined adult with loving relationships surrounding them.

  • Jennifer
    2019-05-05 10:19

    Some books that I read now as a mother hurt my heart much more than I'm sure I would have noticed before. Out From the Underworld by Heather Siegel is one of these books. At the very beginning of the book, just before the prologue, she writes "...this is, unfortunately, a true story." As soon as I saw those words, I knew this was not going to be a light, summer read.Heather tells the story of her dysfunctional childhood, along with her older sister, younger brother, and troubled father. In a similar style to Jeannette Wall's The Glass Castle, Out From the Underworld is captivating right from the beginning. It's one of those fascinating books where you know the protagonist (the author, Heather) perseveres to a happy, healthy place on the other end, but you just cringe in reading about what she and her siblings had to go through to get there.While it's hard for me to say that I "enjoyed" reading about someone else's difficult childhood, because I wouldn't wish this upon any child, I did love Heather's writing style and storytelling. I appreciate the strength and courage it must have taken to share her story with the world. I hope you read it and hold your little ones just a little bit closer when you're finished.Disclaimer - I was sent a copy of this book for review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.

  • Jessica
    2019-04-24 10:24

    True story book will make you breathless. Out From Underworld is my second true story book that I read so far this year. This second true story book is different from my first true story that I read. This book is so much emotional. You need to prepare a tissue with you by your side when you read this book. The book is also fun to read. It makes you smile and giggle. Life for other kids sometimes are not fair. Some are lucky like my kids that their parents are around them. Unfortunately for three siblings Jaz, Heather and Greg, they grow up in a foster care. Losing one parent is not easy, their Dad tries to give them good life but his effort is not enough. These siblings grow up by each other and live life to the fullest. They become close and no one to turn too but each other. This book is so amazing. I can rate it higher than five stars. It deserved the best rating. The book is so intense, heart-breaking and so good. You will cry, get mad and just wants to hug these siblings and welcome them to your loving arms. I LOVED this book. I am so glad that I get the chance to read Ms. Siegel's hard work. You should get yourself a copy if you want to learn the other side of life and be appreciative of what your life is now compared to these siblings.

  • Leila
    2019-05-21 12:20

    This book follows Heather and her siblings journey starting at a young age when their mother takes them away and their father come to their rescue.Upon ‘rescuing’ the kids, their dad moves them into the dark basement of his parents home where the kids find themselves in and out of foster homes, in and out of the basement, and dealing with a dad who really acts like he doesn’t want to be a dad.It isn’t until the end of the book that really start learning the truths behind their mother and their father.In the end, I did really start to understand and feel bad for the father.I didn’t ‘love’ this book, but I didn’t ‘hate’ the book either. My emotions were just kind of neutral when it came to this book.Their situation wasn’t ‘great’, but, I hate to say it; it could have been worse. Based on the ‘dark, riveting, unfortunate truth’, I was expecting much, much worse.Don’t get me wrong – the situation was definitely crappy, especially when you are a kid.The best part of the entire book was that Heather realized the cycle and made the conscious decision to change the cycle with her family and children.

  • Teresa
    2019-05-11 10:00

    Heather Siegel will really make you stop and think, and more then likely thank your lucky stars for the life you have had. You will run the gamut of emotions with this book. You will cry, not only in sadness but fear, anger, relief, and happiness. You will be mad, sad, scared, horrified, happy, glad, and more.This book is inspiring also. What Heather and her siblings went through and still pulled out of it, is just amazing. I could of made a hit list from this book, their Father, grand parents, the foster parents, they didn't deserve to be walking free enjoying the aspects of life. They all needed to be locked up, or better yet treated just the same as they treated these girls.But the best part is How Heather puts her life together and shines.This book will keep you from page one, and almost make you feel lost when you read the last word. You will think about this book for a while after you finish reading it.I have to commend her for putting her story out for the world to read. I was given my copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

  • Anne Becker
    2019-05-19 17:06

    This is a beautifully written and highly engrossing memoir about a traumatic childhood. There was much that horrified me, yet the events were handled with a subtly hopeful touch that drew me in and made me want to keep reading.The bewilderment and confusion inherent in the author's early experiences of abandonment and death were compelling, though at times challenging, since as a reader I too longed for answers that only came gradually. The relationships among the three siblings were very moving and have stayed with me. I felt the memoir was very sympathetic to all the characters, who were drawn with exquisite brush strokes. I found the portrait of the author's father particularly haunting -- Siegel really captures his voice, his character and idiosyncracies in such a way that I feel I have met the man, with all his tragic shortcomings, and somehow share the author's love for him. This memoir is a compassionate tale of human frailty and hope.

  • Lindsay
    2019-05-22 09:01

    Out from the Underworld by Heather Siegel The story starts out by having Heather with her daughter and visiting her father. Heather starts the story of her childhood from when her mother left them. The story is painful but intruding at the same time. We get the authors view of things through her eyes. We also learn about how she and her sister Jazz needs to deal with grieving. We learn about her life in foster care with her brother and sister. Heather has a hard time with her mother's loss. We see what happens when their father has to make his decision. The siblings have a bond together. We also learn about their father background and the family history. I learned that the siblings had a strong bond with each other. They can not seem to understand why their father does not want to escape the basement.

  • Patricia
    2019-05-24 11:10

    It is my pleasure to read and review Out from the Underworld by Heather Siegel. I received an ARC from the author in return for an honest review.I always feel awkward when looking at a memoir and offering my review, after all this is about people, about family . . . about children and the effects of certain events on their lives.This is a dark memoir yet it is my pleasure to say that Heather Siegel took a deep look into the abyss of a dysfunctional family, foster care and the years that came after. It takes a great measure of personal insight to write this honestly. It is a very touching tale that contains silliness, seriousness and a woman's determination to make her own future.I highly recommend Out from the Underworld by Heather Siegel and give this memoir five steaming hot cups of Room With Books coffee!© May 28, 2015Patricia, Room With Books

  • Margaret Tidwell
    2019-05-17 17:28

    Out From The Underworld by Heather Siegel was an amazing book that at times shocked me that it is a true story. It was so shocking at times that I wanted to stop reading but I also couldn’t stop reading because I had to know what happened next. I had a rough childhood or at least I thought I did until I read this book and now I know my childhood was a piece of cake compared to Heather’s. I have to warn you that if you had a rough childhood this may be a trigger for you but it was an amazing book. I have been sitting here trying to figure out how to put into words how this book made me feel and I don’t have words to describe how it made me feel. If you are looking for a great true story book to read than I know you will love this one.FTC:I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  • Debra Schoenberger
    2019-05-07 13:09

    Heather's story begins as a six-year old girl left dealing with issues such as abandonment by her mother, neglect by her father and detachment from her grandparents. Her need for love and belonging was rarely satisfied in the different foster homes her father placed her into. Her keen observation of human behaviour as well as optimism helped mold her personality and survival techniques to make her into what she is today.I enjoyed Heather's descriptive writing style, it was as if you were there in each situation seeing her life as she understood and described it. I developed a sympathy for this little girl who, above all else, wanted to be loved.Unfortunately, due to the mature content and language used in this book I felt that I could not finish it completely. However, I do look forward to reading more work by this author.

  • Sharon
    2019-05-01 10:04

    I was having to put this book down for days at a time because of things going on in my own life... but, I was compelled to go back to it and then I really could not put it down. I thought the book was well written and as "fair" and impartial as possible in portraying the adults, parents, grandparents and foster, whose actions were anything but fair and impartial. What came shining through was the power of siblings and hope and determination. The author truly came out from the underworld both literally and figuratively. I was touched, but I think more importantly, changed (for the better) by reading this book.I also feel very fortunate to actually meet the author the same day I finished reading the book... She is a light and a triumph.

  • Devyn
    2019-05-21 12:00

    I received this book from Goodreads.I find it amazing how Heather Siegel wove her words is such a way as to make this horrifying tale of child neglect read as if an unputdownable fiction. That is truly talent. I know I should probably write more, a lot more, to review this book but I can't. I can't find any words to pass judgement on this book because this isn't a story its a childhood and childhoods are as different as fingerprints. What I can say is that this book made me feel and that through Heather Siegel's eyes and voice I lived her childhood and I understood.