American Daughter By Stephanie Thorton Plymale

American Daughter by Stephanie Thornton Plymale is one of the most astonishing memoirs I’ve ever read. Our assumptions at the beginning of this story are upended by the discoveries Stephanie makes about her mother just before her mother dies, just in time for understanding and forgiveness. At the age of six, Stephanie, her siblings and her mother are living in a car in the Mendocino Headlands State Park, eating seaweed for nourishment. Things get worse as her mother goes in and out of mental institutions and jails, and as Stephanie and her brothers and sister are separated, moved back and forth between foster homes, and back to her mother. One sibling just disappears. Stephanie’s mother lies and tells crazy stories and is, in most ways, a terrible parent. This memoir takes the reader to devastating moments of sexual, physical and mental abuse, and to an astonishing conclusion, where we begin to understand, as Stephanie puts it in her book, “that he most difficult people are often suffering in ways we can’t fathom.” This book is both a difficult read emotionally and a page turner, as well as being the story of finding one’s path through a haunting past.

About Sarah Willis

I have been working at Loganberry Books for ten years. Before that I was a writer (four published books with FS&G and Penguin), and now I am a bookseller and a photographer. I research and order new books, as well as do whatever is needed to help make Loganberry Books the best bookstore in Ohio. I am also very good at recommending books. All of us at Loganberry are eclectic readers. Please ask for recommendations if you need or want one!
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