Synopses & Reviews
Brontosaurus, by Leanne Grabel, is a startlingly unique memoir that details-with deep insight and remarkable humor-the love and sex life of the author following the kidnapping and rape she survives one afternoon in 1972, when she is nineteen, sheltered and naive. She and two college friends set off on a camping trip into Mexico for spring break, and just as their frolic begins on a deserted Baja beach, two masked, armed bandits intervene and change their lives forever. In the wake of this traumatic event, the story follows her through her years at Stanford University, her job at Billie Jean King's WomenSports magazine, a backpacking trip across Europe, and her move from her hometown of Stockton, California, to Portland, Oregon, where she tries to settle down, far from Mexico. She attempts to immerse herself in the vibrant Portland poetry scene, but is waylaid again and again by doomed and destructive romantic entanglements. The years pass turbulently, and when she finally meets the man who eventually becomes her husband and the father of their two daughters, she begins to realize she how much that day in the distant past still haunts her relationships, both with men and with herself. The wound has never healed. She then begins the long and sometimes comical process of trying to figure out what she's going to do about it, and as the book comes to a close in the present day, she has by chance stumbled into a teaching job at a school for incarcerated girls who all suffer from the same wound. As she finds ways to help them heal themselves, she, too, begins to heal. Brontosaurus is profound, heart-wrenching, sexy, and laugh-out-loud funny-often in the same paragraph-rewarding the reader again and again for every minute spent between its pages.