Sissy, the narrator of this haunting family drama, was eight when her father committed suicide. The family hid its shame and never talked about his death, especially to the children, who were more involved than anyone knew. As Sissy matured, she struggled with phobias, nightmares, and recurring dreams. Slowly she came to realize she had played a part in his death, but could not remember how. Determined to discover the truth, she began an astonishing pursuit that lasted many years. Psychological counseling brought some pieces of memory to light, but she knew more was buried in inaccessible parts of her mind. She researched birth and death records. She questioned those still living who could tell her more about his death. Her mother, who knew more than anybody, was an inventive liar who shed blame like a dog shakes off water. Her mother's sister and her mother's oldest friend each had their own versions of the story. How much of what they say can Sissy believe? After years of piecing together fragments of this tormenting puzzle, she underwent therapy for trauma amnesia to pry out the last buried memories. A horrifying story emerged, but it brought an understanding long overdue.
About Helen Parramore
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Published March 4, 2008
Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs.