Leaving Family and Finding Home : A Memoir

Book - 2017
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Baker & Taylor
Traces the author's abuse-marked childhood and how her adult decision to separate herself from her family of origin redefined her understandings of estrangement, survival, and healing.

& Taylor

A hardcover release of the author's best-selling ebook traces her abuse-marked childhood and how her adult decision to separate herself from her family of origin redefined her understandings of estrangement, survival and healing.

Simon and Schuster
A powerful, haunting memoir about one woman’s childhood of abuse and her harrowing decision to leave it all behind that redefines our understanding of estrangement and the ability to triumph over adversity.

To outsiders, Jessica Berger Gross’s childhood—growing up in a “nice” Jewish family in middle class Long Island—seemed as wholesomely American as any other. But behind closed doors, Jessica suffered years of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her father, whose mood would veer unexpectedly from loving to violent.

At the age of twenty-eight, still reeling from the trauma but emotionally dependent on her dysfunctional family, Jessica made the anguished decision to cut ties with them entirely. Years later, living in Maine with a loving husband and young son, having finally found happiness, Jessica is convinced the decision saved her life.

In her powerful memoir reminiscent of Jeannette Walls’s bestseller The Glass Castle, Jessica breaks through common social taboos and bravely recounts the painful, self-defeating ways in which she internalized her abusive childhood, how she came to the monumental decision to break free from her family, and how she endured the difficult road that followed. Ultimately, by extracting herself from the damaging patterns and relationships of the past, Jessica has managed to carve an inspiring path to happiness—one she has created on her own terms. Her story, told here in a careful, unflinching, and forthright way, completely reframes how we think about family and the past.

Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2017
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781501101601
Branch Call Number: 362.76092 G9142e 2017
Characteristics: 277 pages ; 22 cm


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Sep 09, 2017

This was a difficult read about
A daughter who severs ties with her parents.
The physical abuse she suffered as a child is catalogued along with
The parents' acts of kindness and generosity.
The ambivalence of these mixed messages makes for a powerful
Story and a lesson that good acts don't trump assault.
That being a dutiful parent doesn't cancel out intermittent cruelty.
As a reader one feels the story isn't quite finished- even if it is for the writer.


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