Arrivals: Memoirs that reveal the dark, disturbing side of family life

Arrivals: Memoirs that reveal the dark, disturbing side of family life
When Adrienne Brodeur was 14, her mother, Malabar, came into her bedroom after a dinner party, woke her up and whispered, “Ben Souther just kissed me.” With those words, mother and daughter’s lives changed forever. Adrienne became Malabar’s confidante, co-conspirator and accomplice as she listened and lied to keep her self-involved mother’s affair a secret from her stepfather, who was Ben’s best friend, and Ben’s wife, who was Malabar’s best friend. A cinematic memoir, with a privileged Cape Code backdrop (Ben was a direct descendant of the Mayflower Pilgrims), gourmet cooking and several surprises.

The Less People Know About Us: A Mystery of Betrayal, Family Secrets, and Stolen Identity, Axton Betz-Hamilton

At first glance, Axton Betz-Hamilton’s memoir is designed to teach readers how identity theft destroys innocent people, but this particular story just gets weirder as it progresses. An only child living with her mom and dad in rural Indiana, the author recounts how the family’s bewilderment morphs into paranoia as mail goes missing, the utilities are turned off, foreclosure notices arrive and a sheriff comes to arrest her mother for fraud. Soon the family is living with the drapes drawn, trusting no one. As a result of her experience, Betz-Hamilton has made consumer protection her life’s work.

Becoming Eve: My Journey from Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi to Transgender Woman, Abby Chava Stein

The author grew up in Brooklyn in a Hasidic rabbinical family that lived by the rules of 18th century eastern European Jews. At the age of four, sitting in the bathtub stabbing her penis with pins, she announced to her mother that her anatomy was wrong: “It is a mistake ... I want to be a girl,” a conviction that persisted through her teens, through rabbinical school, through an arranged marriage and the birth of a son, until she left her family and started living as a woman. A fascinating memoir, as much for its depictions of ultra-Orthodox Judaism as for its story of gender reassignment.

Blood: A Memoir, Allison Moorer

On Aug. 12, 1986, in Mobile, Ala., Vernon Moorer shot his wife, Laura Lynn Moorer, then killed himself, leaving orphans of the author, then 14, and sister Shelby, 17. This is the story of a family steeped in country music and the heartache and tragedy that often inspire it. Both Allison Moorer and Shelby Lynne are today successful musicians out of Nashville. This memoir is Allison’s attempt to come to terms with this life-altering event. An album, Blood, was released within days of the book.

Wild Life: Dispatches from a Childhood of Baboons and Button-Downs, Keena Roberts

Keena Roberts grew up betwixt and between. Her parents were primate researchers, and for great chunks of time the family lived in a tent near a baboon colony in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, with wild animals — lions, elephants, hyenas and other dangerous creatures — all around them. Their remaining time was spent in Philadelphia, where the girls attended an elite private school and the dangerous creatures included mean girls roaming the halls and prank-calling boys.
Read more on Toronto Star
News Topics :
Three years ago, 17 year old Emma and her sister, Cassandra, 15, vanished from their home in Connecticut. Now Cass has returned with an outlandish story. She and Emma have been living...
Ben comes home unexpectedly the day before Christmas. It is not a gift his mother, stepdad and younger sister are particularly glad to receive. BEN IS BACK Trailer 2018 Julia...
Blood Orange, Harriet Tyce, Grand Central   Grand Central Publishing Allison is a mess — drinking too much, carrying on with her feckless lover, consumed by guilt at what she’s doing to...
Top Stories
Sisters Edythe Gray and Marjorie Roberts have lived their whole adult lives apart, but now they re reuniting after 68 years to mark the centennial anniversary of the Calgary orphanage...
Trials of the Earth The True Story of a Pioneer Woman, by Mary Mann Hamilton, Little, Brown, 318 pages, $32.50.    Little, Brown    Mary Mann Hamilton, author of Trials of the...