This intimate, fearless account of the Canadian author’s relationship with her traumatized, free-thinking mother leaves you rooting for both of them.
Author and journalist Leah McLaren was a precocious 13-year-old when she broke down at her mother’s kitchen table one night in Toronto and described a harrowing sexual experience at a pool party. Her mother, Cessie, brewed her a mug of herbal tea, added a slug of whisky, and countered it with a tale of her own.At just 12, Cessie had been raped by her riding instructor. The Horseman, she called him. Having groomed her for assault, he then persuaded her that she was in love with him.
The first, and most obvious, is a noise when you apply the brake pedal. This could be anything from a grinding sound to a high-pitched screech
Wearing thin and the calipers. An account of McLaren’s efforts to win her mother’s blessing for the book over a girls’ weekend in New York frames a narrative composed of chronologically arranged vignettes that capture telling moments from McLaren’s girlhood and early adulthood. More room mate than parent, Cessie gave her the freedom to cruise through school snacking on magic mushrooms, stay out all night with calling home, and tolerate the gaze of a voyeur in the alleyway outside their apartment – until she woke to find him trying to climb through her bedroom window. Listening, McLaren’s first response was relief & perhaps her own story wasn’t so momentous after all.
Defaulting to Mindfulness
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