Where you end and I begin A memoir

Leah McLaren

Book - 2022

"A daughter's riveting, devastating portrait of her relationship with her mother, a brilliant and charismatic woman haunted by childhood sexual trauma. When an eight-year-old Leah McLaren's parents get divorced, her mother, Cessie, flees her conventional life as a suburban housewife in search of a glamorous journalism career. In the chaotic years that follow, with her daughter in tow, Cessie lurches from one apartment, job and toxic romance to the next. Their bond is loving but al...so marked by casual indifference. Cessie's self-described parenting style of "benign neglect" is a hilarious party joke and Leah's stark reality. Their family motto, "Commitment sucks the life right out of you" is tacked up on every rental fridge. Inside the shelves are empty. During Leah's first year of high school she becomes gripped with anxiety following a troubling early sexual experience at a party. Cessie, in turn, makes a disclosure that will alter everything: from the age of twelve to fifteen, she was in a clandestine relationship with her middle-aged, married riding instructor. The damage inflicted by the "Horseman," Cessie explains, is the reason for all her ill-conceived life choices, including marriage, divorce and even motherhood itself. Both women will spend decades haunted by the specter of the Horseman, until they decide to investigate what became of him--an ill-conceived quest that will test the bonds of love and redefine their relationship forever. Written with searing candour and merciless wit, Where You End and I Begin is an intimate exploration of the ways intergenerational trauma is shared between women, and how acts of harm can be confused with acts of love."--

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