This memoir by Andrea Kott is a true find. It is heartbreaking, inspiring, authentic and gripping. It is about a lifetime’s journey of dealing with an alcoholic and depressed mother, a constant conflict with what it means to be Jewish, and the despair of terrible loss and abandonment. It is exquisitely written and impossible to put it down. Kott’s path to health and fulfillment is illuminating as much as it is profoundly sad. She asks for no sympathy and there is no fairy tale ending; she just tells her compelling story and the reader is the better for it.
Andrea Kott’s memoir is completely engrossing, full of a kaleidoscope of emotions, all expressed beautifully and with great skill. The portrait of her troubled mother, her struggle with faith, and her journey to strength through complicated relationships make for a story that I couldn’t put down. I loved this book and learned a lot from its insights.
I have been following Andrea’s writing for more than 20 years because her it is consistently powerful. Her autobiography is no exception. It is a poignant testimony to what it means to “be Jewish” in the U.S. and how this concept can be both a source of peace/pride or a one of shame/humiliation when family dynamics betray the ideal image. This is an inspiring book for anyone on an existential journey, Jewish or otherwise
I attended middle and high school with the author -and my mother carpooled with her mother and I had no idea the struggles and heartbreak she went through. But why would I or any of her close friends? She kept it hidden out of survival mode. This memoir is heartbreaking and eye-opening. Her story of pain and emotional and sometimes physical abuse is dreadful, but her resilience to overcoming her childhood is a story of strength. That she found her religion as a source also of healing is encouraging to others who are searching for faith in these difficult times, and is a small ray of hope. This book is beautifully written and some of her memories may resonate with others facing a difficult childhood, but what I love is that she is still here to share it with us all.