We are so lucky to have two fantastic memoirists living in our area! If you’re looking for engrossing reads about the intersections of womanhood, motherhood, expectations, and the opioid crisis that is sweeping the nation, look no further than these two books. We are proud to have Maureen Stanton, author of Body Leaping Backward: Memoir of Delinquent Girlhood and Sharon Lamb, author of The Not Good Enough Mother in our store to talk about their books and the stories behind them.
Described as “sharp, candid, and deeply felt” by the Boston Globe, Body Leaping Backward is a haunting and beautifully drawn story of a self-destructive girlhood, of a town and a nation overwhelmed in a time of change, and of how life-altering a glimpse of a world bigger than the one we come from can be. Set in 1970s Walpole in the shadow of the maximum security prison, the book follows Maureen’s life through her parent’s divorce, her mother’s significant changes as she attempts to raise seven children on her own, and the emergence of Angel Dust, a homemade form of PCP sweeping through her town. A professor at UMass Lowell, Maureen has been awarded the Iowa Review prize, a Pushcart Prize, the American Literary Review award in nonfiction, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Not Good Enough Mother brings a modern story, clinical perspective, yet empathetic voice to the opioid crisis. A psychologist and expert witness, Sharon evaluates parents, particularly in high-stakes cases concerning the termination of parental rights. The conclusions she reaches can mean that some children are returned home from foster homes. Others are freed for adoption. Well-trained, Lamb generally can decide what’s in the best interests of the child. But when her son’s struggle with opioid addiction comes to light, she starts to doubt her right to make judgments about other mothers. In its starred review, Booklist says of the memoir, “this honest look at how society judges parents, mothers in particular, deserves a wide audience.” Alongside her credentials and duties as a therapist to children and families, Sharon is a professor of counseling psychology at UMass Boston.
We look forward to this important discussion and these two intersecting viewpoints on this significant concern that is impacting families and communities across our state and country. We hope you’ll join us!
Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.