Reversible Skirt

Rated 5.00/5 based on 4 reviews
Reversible Skirt recounts the heartrending decade after one young mother’s suicide, as seen through the eyes of her youngest child, Laura, who was a toddler at the time of the tragedy. It also reveals what Laura and her sisters discovered that led them out of darkness and into productive adult lives. More

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Words: 78,890
Language: English
ISBN: 9780982936511
About Laura McHale Holland

Laura McHale Holland is the author of the award-winning memoir, Reversible Skirt. Her stories, essays and feature articles have appeared in such publications as the Every Day Fiction Three, the Vintage Voices anthologies, NorthBay biz magazine, the Noe Valley Voice and the original San Francisco Examiner. A member of both Redwood Writers and the Storytelling Association of California, she has been a featured teller at The Lake Tahoe Storytelling Festival. To keep up with her, please visit http://lauramchaleholland.com.

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Reversible Skrt recounts the gut-wrenching decade following a young mother's suicide, as seen through the eyes of her youngest daughter, Laura, who was a toddler at the time of the tragedy. It also reveals what Laura and her sisters discovered that led to forgiveness and healing.

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Reviews

Review by: Tanya Savko on March 14, 2013 :
I very much enjoyed this engaging, highly descriptive book. I have a parent who grew up in a household that sounds very much like the one in the story, and this book helped me to understand some of my parent's beliefs and fears that in turn affected me while growing up. I recommend this book to anyone who knows someone who grew up in an abusive family - it will make a difference in how you see things with that person, and it will give you a deep respect for the person who survived and thrived.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Michelle Brauer on July 02, 2012 :
Reversible Skirt, by Laura McHale Holland, is a heart-breaking memoir about one young mother’s suicide as seen through the eyes of her youngest child, Laura. A toddler at the time of the tragedy, Laura is initially bewildered by the changes swirling around her family, including the appearance of a new stepmother, who is simply passed off as the same person to the children.

The author has done a masterful job of capturing the thought process of a young child as she struggles to make sense of the changes in her world. The tragic events of the girls’ lives aren’t over, unfortunately. The abuse they experience as they grow and confront of the truth of their mother’s death and their father’s choices can be painful to read. Yet it’s worth persevering, because the book ends with Laura and her sisters finding strength and peace in adulthood.

Reversible Skirt describes a time in our not-too-distant past where mental illness and suicide were swept under the rug. While we have made some gains as a society, the situation will feel familiar to those of us who have lived through mental illness in our own families. What was most intriguing about the book was how the author and her sisters forgave their abusive stepmother after everything she did to them as children. Their ability to survive and recover from their challenging childhoods is uplifting. The capacity they show for forgiveness is truly inspiration.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Michelle Brauer on July 02, 2012 : (no rating)
Reversible Skirt, by Laura McHale Holland, is a heart-breaking memoir about one young mother’s suicide as seen through the eyes of her youngest child, Laura. A toddler at the time of the tragedy, Laura is initially bewildered by the changes swirling around her family, including the appearance of a new stepmother, who is simply passed off as the same person to the children.

The author has done a masterful job of capturing the thought process of a young child as she struggles to make sense of the changes in her world. The tragic events of the girls’ lives aren’t over, unfortunately. The abuse they experience as they grow and confront of the truth of their mother’s death and their father’s choices can be painful to read. Yet it’s worth persevering, because the book ends with Laura and her sisters finding strength and peace in adulthood.

Reversible Skirt describes a time in our not-too-distant past where mental illness and suicide were swept under the rug. While we have made some gains as a society, the situation will feel familiar to those of us who have lived through mental illness in our own families. What was most intriguing about the book was how the author and her sisters forgave their abusive stepmother after everything she did to them as children. Their ability to survive and recover from their challenging childhoods is uplifting. The capacity they show for forgiveness is truly inspiration.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Eva Kende on Sep. 08, 2011 :
Reversible Skirt
by Laura McHale Holland

Laura McHale Holland broaches the subject, suicide, which has long been a taboo subject in western society. The author tells the story of three little girls, herself one of them, coping with the big secret, their mother's suicide. Children back then were not supposed to remember, have feelings or understand. Armed with these presumptions and an iron will, Laura's stepmother runs her charges with cruel rules and chores, forcing the girls to eventually unite against her.

Even though our childhoods were literally a world apart, I could relate to many of the problems of the girls faced. I had a grandmother whom I adored in spite of my mother's interference. There was a dark hole about my paternal grandfather's death of what they called "depression" that was never explained. As for the lack of nice school clothes, I could actually feel the pain of a teenage girl, because I've walked in those shoes.

The author describes, amazingly well, the thoughts and feelings that run through her little-girl mind, never faltering to show us, without being tempted to add an adult comment, the events as they unfold. Her naiveté, coupled with longing for something else, something better, is palpable.

To fill in the adult background, she cleverly interjects the missing information with a number of handwritten letters, from her deceased mother, who as a roaming spirit, watches over them and tries to explain herself.

The book delves into a very difficult subject. Well written and honest, this book makes for a thought provoking read. I am looking forward to a sequel, to find out what happened to the girls after they freed themselves from the clutches of a truly wicked or may be just incompetent stepmother.

Reviewed by Eva Kende
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/46518
(reviewed long after purchase)

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