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Estranged: Leaving Family and Finding Home Hardcover – July 11, 2017
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"An unsentimentally courageous memoir."
"A gripping memoir."
"Gripping yet hopeful."
"[A] memoir of love, abuse, despair, and hope . . . a reminder that any family can hide a secret and that many victims of abuse go their entire lives without speaking out about it."
"Excellent memoir . . . I couldn't put it down."
"In a world that celebrates the bonds of mothers and children, and surrounds us with images of happy families celebrating their love, Jessica Berger Gross has made a brave and lonely choice to cut ties with her family and their abuse—and braver still she has chosen to tell us about it. That she survived with the strength to get away is a testimony to her courage. Many readers will recognize their own story, or a piece of it, in this one, and when they do, find comfort."
—Joyce Maynard, author of At Home in the World and The Best of Us
"Estranged captures the sorrow of a hurt child with stunning intimacy. Berger Gross weaves a tale of heartbreak and triumph from the sticky, knotted threads of family, trauma, and identity. A tender and beautiful read."
—Leah Vincent, author of Cut Me Loose: Sin and Salvation After My Ultra-Orthodox Girlhood
"A memoir of painstaking clarity, Estranged illuminates the isolation of childhood misery and the grown heart's hungry quest for a safe home. For the many of us hell-bent on reality in spite of crazy origins, Berger Gross proves a sane and indispensable friend who understands in her bones that this hunt is a dire matter of survival."
—Susanna Sonnenberg, author of Her Last Death and She Matters: A Life in Friendships
"There's nothing more safe and comforting than a loving family, and nothing more dangerous than a violent one. In this brave, gripping memoir, Jessica Berger Gross recounts her traumatic childhood in a 'nice' Jewish home on Long Island and her bold decision to break away for good. Estranged is at turns haunting, infuriating, and inspiring. It's an unforgettable story for our time."
—Eric Klinenberg, author of Going Solo and co-author of Modern Romance
About the Author
Jessica Berger Gross is the author of the bestselling ebook Estranged, and the editor of the anthology About What Was Lost: 20 Writers on Miscarriage, Healing, and Hope. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Salon, and The Globe and Mail.
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Top customer reviews
Berger-Gross’ father hit her. He called her names that no person, let alone a parent, should ever call a child. Just like the hits that he threw, the words also left scars. In between these terrible and terrifying moments, she and her two brothers, had memorable moments with their parents. Even loving. This was of course confusing.
This behavior went on throughout her childhood and young adulthood. Until, she knew it was not ok and she had enough.
Throughout her childhood, her brothers were her only saving grace. Until one day, as a young adult, when the brother she was closest to, repeated the same behavior as their father had. Toward Jessica. Imagine the fear. Imagine the disappointment.
You often read and hear that when someone is abused, it is difficult to extricate themselves from a situation. The victim often blames themselves. How could a young child get away, what might the repercussions be. While completely cutting ties, to some might seem extreme, often this is the only choice. I imagine that pain and fear of the past has not gone away for Jessica nor does the loss of her family come without great heartache. Hopefully, having moved on and creating a family of her own and providing a safe and loving home, as well as writing this book, has been a huge part of her healing.
Most recent customer reviews
Difficult story but well written. Hard to believe what lives some small children have to live.