"...one of the most buzzed-about books of fall. If you’ve enjoyed memoirs about troubled childhoods (think Glass Castle), you’ll love this brave and vulnerable memoir ― the author's first ― that touches on themes of family, love and survival."
"Though the settings of Jarrell’s stories range from Camden, Maine, to Italy and Los Angeles, the author’s small-town Americana tone is reminiscent of Joyce Carol Oates. The work’s lasting message is that love, like Jarrell’s prose, is both painful and beautiful. A stunning series of recollections with a feminist slant."
―Kirkus ReviewsSTARRED REVIEW
“A courageous, daring and unforgettable memoir about balancing the feeling of safety with seeking love, I’m the One Who Got Away is one of 2017’s most sensational memoirs.”
"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."
“Brave, clear-eyed, compelling and powerful, I’m the One Who Got Away is a riveting story of love and survival. Andrea Jarrell is an uncommonly fine writer whose gritty realism is matched by the rigor and elegance of her prose. This is a wonderful debut.”
―Dani Shapiro, Hourglass and Still Writing
“I was enthralled. Andrea Jarrell is a stunning writer, moving deftly through decades in near-cinematic prose (seriously: somebody make this book into a movie!). We’re with her in LA, imagining her largely absent father; in Austin, knowing she took a wrong turn; in Maine and D.C. realizing how our childhoods tangle with our grown-up selves. I’m thinking about how imagination is as much a part of memoir as lived experience. I’m thinking about what it means to live in curiosity, not judgment. I’m thinking that I need to stop what I’m doing and read this book again. Like, immediately."
―Megan Stielstra, The Wrong Way to Save Your Life and Once I Was Cool
“Andrea Jarrell's beautiful memoir―her adventurous yet protective single mother; insinuating father/stranger; friends and encounters, lovers and spouse, templates of what she must move beyond, accept, or embrace to become bravely herself―is as riveting as a mystery and as filling as a feast.”
―William O'Sullivan, Washingtonian magazine
“Beautifully told with great wisdom and clear-eyed courage, Andrea Jarrell has mapped her personal journey in life―the fears and obstacles and losses as well as the joys and comforts of love and finding her own sense of home. I could not put it down.”
―Jill McCorkle, Life After Life and Going Away Shoes
"Andrea Jarrell lets us join her as she gets away, lets us feel the thrilling trajectory of escape as she breaks through familial and personal patterns into a freer, more joyful life. This honest, thoughtful memoir is written with great compassion; Jarrell’s love for her family, and for her own journey as a woman, rises off the page, even in the most painful moments. She reminds us to be our own liberators, our own witnesses, to appreciate the majesty of our own everyday world."
―Gayle Brandeis, The Art of Misdiagnosis: A Memoir and The Book of Dead Birds
“Haunted by her father’s absence and riveted by her single mother’s cautionary tales, Andrea Jarrell longed for the ‘stuff of ordinary families’ even as she was drawn to the drama of her parents’ larger-than-life love. In her wise and resonant memoir, Jarrell revisits stories starring wolves in cowboy clothing and lambs led astray by charming savior-saboteurs, to lovingly recount how she escaped a narrative she'd learned by heart and wrote her own version of a happy life.”
―Elizabeth Mosier, The Playgroup and My Life as a Girl
“A charming snake of a B-movie actor father who’ll steal your heart and leave you the bruises of abuse. A smart, determined mother forging a life for her and her daughter while looking over her shoulder for fear – and sometimes in the hope – he’ll track them down. In a lesser writer’s hands, this story might be rendered as Technicolor melodrama and in glaring neon prose. But Andrea Jarrell is conducting a far more meaningful investigation into the choices life has presented her, the mistakes she has repeated, and the vivid resolve to emerge into the life she’s greatly earned. It’s her candor and her courage and the memoir’s clean, sure, unflinching voice that we come away remembering.”
―Douglas Bauer, author of What Happens Next?: Matters of Life and Death
"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."
"Her story reads like one of the best recovery speakers―the ones we wish for at the podium. You’ll see all the stages of trying, testing and healing that you have gone through in Jarrell’s story―and you’ll laugh, sigh, and maybe like me you will be saying, 'Oh, no' and then 'Oh, good!' out loud as you read this memoir.”
―Diane Cameron, author of Out of the Woods
"A life-affirming story of having the courage to become both safe enough and vulnerable enough to love and be loved."
"It will give you pause and make you seriously think."
"She gives the rest of us approaching our 50s hope that the best is yet to come.”
―Los Angeles Review of Books
“…a self-aware story that likewise inspires inward reflection on the reader’s part . . .I’m the One Who Got Away reminds the readers that things will get better as we grow older, despite the challenges we face growing up―that we will get better as we grow older, better and more understanding of ourselves and our pasts.”
“ . . . An insightful, chilling peek inside the relationships we inhabit and the ways in which we carry them with us.”
―Town & Country
“ . . . A decades-spanning story about mother-daughter bonds and the power of escape, vulnerability, and courage.”
“Jarrell dives deep into her life as a fugitive on the quest for safety and the true definition of what it means to be loved.”