I'm the one who got away A memoir

Andrea Jarrell

Book - 2017

"Fugitives from a man as alluring as he is violent, Andrea Jarrell and her mother develop a powerful, unusual bond. Once grown, Jarrell thinks she's put that chapter of her life behind her--until a woman she knows is murdered, and she suddenly sees that it's her mother's choices she's been trying to escape all along. Without preaching or prescribing, I'm the One Who Got Away is a life-affirming story of having the courage to become both safe enough and vulnerable en...ough to love and be loved."--Amazon.com.

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BIOGRAPHY/Jarrell, Andrea
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Subjects
Genres
Autobiographies
Published
Berkeley, CA : She Writes Press 2017.
Language
English
Item Description
Includes book discussion guide.
Physical Description
153 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN
9781631522604
1631522604
Main Author
Andrea Jarrell (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

For as long as Jarrell can remember, it was only her and her mom. They escaped Jarrell's jealous, abusive father when she was one, and together the two built a new life, touring Europe, watching old movies on TV, and dealing with their loneliness. When the author's neighbor (a single mother) is murdered, an adult Jarrell's unexpected grief leads her to reflect on her own parents' relationship and her childhood. She pieces together her memories, recounting her friendships and loves, and sees some of the same patterns surfacing. A recurring theme is the specter of her father, who found them when the author was in her teens and charmed his way in and out of their lives, bringing hope, followed by eventual disappointment. This slender book is filled with vivid flashbacks, poignant memories, and thoughtful moments. Jarrell does a commendable job in this story of resilience and survival of capturing her longing for a normal life, the dangers of seeking happiness in others, the bonds of family, and the soul-searching she needs to finally find peace. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Jarrell begins her memoir with an account of the tragic murder of her neighbor Susannah, whose death triggers a wellspring of emotion that reminds the author of her own childhood. Jarrell's mother married her father, Nick, while still in high school; he quickly became controlling and abusive, isolating her from her family. When Jarrell is a baby, her mother leaves Nick and scrimps and saves to take her daughter to the theater and to Europe, but Nick is never far away. Jarrell gets to know him in her teens, and his verbal abuse and mercurial moods set her up for some unhealthy life choices. She ultimately marries a man who seems stable and calm, but the relationship is fraught. In Susannah's death, the author sees the future her family might have had if her mother had stayed with her father: patterns that might have resulted in tragic endings for both mother and daughter. VERDICT Jarrell writes powerfully about coming of age in the shadow of domestic violence and her growth as a spouse, parent, and daughter. How she successfully navigated her responsibility to her children as well as her desire to know her father may be of interest to readers who wish to explore boundary-setting in their own families.— Rachael Dreyer, Pennsylvania State Univ. Dept. of Libs. (c) Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

In this riveting and disturbing memoir, freelance writer Jarrell chronicles living in the shadow of domestic abuse. Jarrell grew up in Los Angeles in the 1970s witnessing her mother's ongoing abuse at the hands of her father; she and her mother moved out, but to her confusion, her parents reconciled shortly thereafter. Following an intense opening chapter detailing a neighbor's murder by a boyfriend, Jarrell is forced to reflect into her own story, beginning with her childhood. She does an admirable job of dissecting her family history and the long-lasting emotional wreckage created by domestic abuse. As an adult, she worried about losing the safe life she'd built for herself, and she struggled with anxiety and self-pity. Once Jarrell established a family of her own, she began processing the toll her parent's violent relationship took on her emotional maturity. While raising her own daughter, Jarrell had a revelation: "Rather than being the child waiting for love and approval, it was time for me to be the mother generously offering such love and understanding to her children even when they rejected her." Jarrell's story is simultaneously unassuming and painful to read. (Sept.) Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

As featured in the New York Times “Modern Love” column * a Redbook Magazine must-read * Harper's Bazaar * Yahoo! Style, InStyle, Rumpus, Hello Giggles, Bustle, and Southern Living magazine Fall book pickFugitives from a man as alluring as he is violent, Andrea Jarrell and her mother develop a powerful, unusual bond. Once grown, Jarrell thinks she’s put that chapter of her life behind her—until a woman she knows is murdered, and she suddenly sees that it’s her mother’s choices she’s been trying to escape all along. Without preaching or prescribing, I’m the One Who Got Away is a life-affirming story of having the courage to become both safe enough and vulnerable enough to love and be loved.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Fugitives from a man as alluring as he is violent, Andrea Jarrell and her mother escape Andrea's father together and develop a powerful and unusual bond. Once grown, Jarrell thinks she’s put that chapter of her life behind her—until a woman she knows is murdered, and she suddenly sees that it's her mother's choices she's been trying to escape all along.