Synopses & Reviews
Not since Mary Karr's The Liar's Club
has a mother-daughter story captured so piercingly the mysteries of childhood.
In 1959, when Sandra Scofield was fifteen, she came home to stay in West Texas after years in Catholic boarding schools. She believed her presence would inspire her invalid mother to live. What she found a fractured family; a distracted, dying mother nudged her into the tumult of late adolescence and the awakening of her sexuality.
More than forty years later, Scofield looks back on her Catholic girlhood and the ways in which her relationship with her mother was grounded in their intertwined aspirations for holiness, achievement, and love. Writing on the brink of old age, she looks back ruefully but without bitterness, forgiving both her mother's frailty and her own.
"Unlike many memoirists who write of growing up Catholic, novelist Scofield does not take a lighthearted look at her tumultuous childhood....Poignant and clearly cathartic, this is a tender, melancholic coming-of-age story." Publishers Weekly
"In her carefully measured prose, Scofield makes vivid the repressive 1950s, especially for Catholics, specifically for women....[A] deeply reflective and heartrending account conveying all that is lost when a child loses her mother." Joanne Wilkinson, Booklist
"Now middle-aged, the author still grieves for a woman who made mistakes, but was easy to love. A tender but clear-eyed tribute." Kirkus Reviews
"[Scofield writes] with a style as subtle and understated as family loyalty itself." New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Sandra Scofield is the author of seven novels, including Opal on Dry Ground, a National Book Award finalist. She lives in Oregon.