Stepping back from the ledge A daughter's search for truth and renewal

Laura Trujillo

Book - 2022

"When Laura Trujillo's mother jumps off a ledge in the Grand Canyon and falls to her death, Laura sets out to discover what drove her mother's actions, and begins to explore the painful secrets they shared. As a young girl, Laura was happy that her mother, divorced and remarried, seemed happy again, and so she hides it when her stepfather begins to abuse her. Now grown up with a family of her own, after her mother dies, Laura goes in search of the truth of her mother's life, ...and of their mutually protective relationship. Breaking the silence that surrounds the subjects of abuse and suicide, Laura explores her own struggle with loss and the trauma of the sexual assault that marked her youth, and candidly recounts how she came to find understanding and hope again"--

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Subjects
Genres
Biographies
Autobiographies
Published
New York : Random House [2022]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Item Description
"A memoir" -- Cover.
Physical Description
195 pages ; 22 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 187-188).
ISBN
9780593157619
0593157613
Main Author
Laura Trujillo (author)
  • Searching for answers
  • A growing distance
  • A cruel summer
  • The fear: I was becoming my mom
  • Learning to understand suicide
  • Finding Hope
  • Getting better
  • Hiking with my mother
  • Piecing together my mom's life
  • My mother's daughter
  • Moving forward.
Review by Library Journal Reviews

In Where the Children Take Us, CNN anchor Asher celebrates the strength of her first-generation British Nigerian mother, who overcame grief when her husband was killed in a South London car accident to raise four accomplished children, including Oscar-nominated actor Chiwetel Ejiofor (125,000-copy first printing). Multi-award-winning novelist Morton writes about his fierce and irrepressible educator mother, Tasha, from whom he spent a lifetime carefully cushioning himself and who still proves a handful when he must intervene as caregiver as she grows older (75,000-copy first printing). Author of the laugh-out-loud best seller I Miss You When I Blink, self-professed worrywart Philpott practically built a Bomb Shelter to protect her children, then realized during the crisis that unfolded after she found her teenage son unconscious on the floor that she couldn't control everything (100,000-copy first printing). Forever Boy, Swenson's account of raising a son with severe autism, should attract a big audience—and not just because of the subject's importance; Swenson's blog/Facebook page Finding Cooper's Voice has 655,000 followers, and her TODAY-featured video, "The Last Time It's Going To Be Okay," has been viewed over 30 million times (75,000-copy first printing). Expanding on a 2018 USA TODAY story that has had more than 1.5 million page views, Trujillo examines the aftermath of her mother's suicide in Stepping Back from the Ledge, explaining that she had to face deep sorrows in her mother's life and her own. Copyright 2021 Library Journal.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Trujillo, a managing editor at USA Today, reexamines the events that led to her mother's suicide in this gorgeous and elegiac debut. Though her mother historically struggled with depression, Trujillo was nevertheless shocked when she jumped off a cliff in the Grand Canyon in 2012. Dissatisfied with the cut-and-dried police reports, the author, a veteran writer, reporter, and editor, set out to find her own answers. As she lucidly traces recollections of her mother from childhood, what surfaces alongside them are trenchant memories of Trujillo's own suffering—namely, the countless times she was raped as a teenager by her mother's second husband. Trujillo kept silent about the abuse until she was 40, when, with the help of a psychologist, she shared her story with her mother (her mother's death followed several months after the revelation, leaving Trujillo to agonize over whether "it was my fault"). Never once reaching for pat metaphors or an easy conclusion, Trujillo recounts her wrenching path to healing and how she held her family together during unimaginable grief. In the process, she offers an aching and stunning portrait of her fallible but loving mother, a woman who "started fires in the bathroom trash," but with whom Trujillo's identity is inextricably entwined. This shines a humanizing light on a subject too often relegated to the shadows. (Apr.) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

After her mother takes her own life, the author, a managing editor at USA Today, is forced to come to terms with what she didn’t know about her mother and about herself as she wrestles with her guilt and ultimately forges a new path forward.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"When Laura Trujillo's mother jumps off a ledge in the Grand Canyon and falls to her death, Laura sets out to discover what drove her mother's actions, and begins to explore the painful secrets they shared. As a young girl, Laura was happy that her mother, divorced and remarried, seemed happy again, and so she hides it when her stepfather begins to abuse her. Now grown up with a family of her own, after her mother dies, Laura goes in search of the truth of her mother's life, and of their mutually protective relationship. Breaking the silence that surrounds the subjects of abuse and suicide, Laura explores her own struggle with loss and the trauma of the sexual assault that marked her youth, and candidly recounts how she came to find understanding and hope again"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

In this “seismically moving memoir” (The New York Times Book Review, Editors’ Choice), one woman asks a seemingly impossible question in the aftermath of her mother’s suicide: How do you mourn a loved one as you repair the injuries they inflicted? “Laura Trujillo resurfaces from the dark ‘sub-basement’ of despair with assurances for us all: There is hope. There is healing. Always, there is love. This book will save lives.”—Connie Schultz, author of The Daughters of ErietownLaura Trujillo had been close to her mother for most of her adult life, raising her four children within a few miles of their beloved grandmother’s Phoenix home. But just three months after moving her young family to Cincinnati for a new job, Laura receives shocking news: Her mother had taken her own life—by jumping off a ledge into the Grand Canyon, a place Laura knew her mother had always loved. Laura and her mother had shared a profound and special bond, yet each had also kept from the other the deepest truths about their lives. As an adult, Laura finally broke her silence about the sexual abuse she had suffered as a teenager at the hands of her stepfather—a secret Laura had buried to protect her mother. After her mother’s death, Laura embarks on an emotional odyssey, searching for clues that could explain the depression, intergenerational trauma, and shared heartbreaks in her family. When she returns to the Grand Canyon, it becomes an oasis that nurtures Laura’s search for redemption and peace. As Laura wrestles with her feelings, she forges a new path forward. Moving and intimate, powerfully told, Stepping Back from the Ledge is a remarkable exploration of the bond between a mother and daughter, and of the hope that can come from facing the truth.