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The Three of Us: A Family Storyby Julia Blackburn
Synopses & Reviews
This is the story of three people: Julia Blackburn; her father, Thomas; and her mother, Rosalie. Thomas was a poet and an alcoholic who for many years was addicted to barbiturates, which would often make him violent. Rosalie, a painter, was sociable and flirtatious; she treated Julia as her sister, her confidante, and eventually as her deadly sexual rival. After Julia’s parents divorced, her mother took in lodgers, always men, on the understanding that each would become her lover. When one of the lodgers started an affair with Julia, Rosalie was devastated; when he later committed suicide, the relationship between mother and daughter was shattered irrevocable.
Or so it seems until the spring of 1999, when Rosalie, diagnosed with leukemia, came to live with Julia for the last month of her life. At last the spell was broken, and they were able to talk with an ease they had never known before. When she was very near the end, Rosalie said to Julia, “Now you will be able to write about me, won’t you?”
The Three of Us is a memoir like no other you have read. The writing is magical, and the story is extraordinary, not only for its honest but also for its humor and its lack of blame. Ultimately, this is a tale of redemption, a love story. It will surely become one of the classics of that genre.
From the Hardcover edition.
The author's moving and unsettling memoir of her youth and of her tangled relationships with her parents--an alcoholic, often psychotic poet father and an artist mother who treated her sometimes as a rival, sometimes as a sisterly confidant--is viewed years later as she describes her efforts to reconcile with her estranged dying mother. 15,000 first printing.
This is the story of three people: acclaimed writer Julia Blackburn; her father, Thomas - a poet and alcoholic with an addiction to barbiturates; and her mother, Rosalie - a flirtatious painter with noboundaries.After Julia's parents divorced, her mother took in male lodgers with the hope they would become her lovers. When one of the lodgers began an affair with Julia, competitive Rosalie was devastated; he latercommitted suicide, shattering whatever relationship between mother and daughter remained. After thirty years, Rosalie, diagnosed with leukemia, came to live with Julia for the last month of her life. Only then were theyallowed, at long last, to exist with an ease they had never known.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About the Author
Julia Blackburn is the author of seven books of nonfiction, including Old Man Goya, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and With Billie, which won the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award; and of the novels The Book of Color and The Leper’s Companions, both of which were short-listed for the Orange Prize. She lives in England.
Table of Contents
This is the story — A supper party — Back home — Visiting Doctor Kollestrom — Marriage — And then a baby — Bright eyes — Dancing with Francis Bacon — The old Bs — The story of Boonie and Tuggie — Moonlight in the garden — Don't worry, Darling — The facts of life — Having a dog — Altered houses — Father comes to tea — Talking dirty — Uncle guy — Driving to Majorca — Driving back from Majorca — Lodger number seven — Private — A little family — And then — A red nightdress — York Street — Certain choices — In the house of Aaron Juda — Daily life — The year comes full circle — Thinking things over — One spring morning — Putting it in writing — The scent of adrenaline in the air — My stumbling father — Dear Rosalie, Dear Tommy — Seeing God — Jubilate — A funeral in Wales — Rosalie — Here.
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