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From Barnes & NobleDiscover Great New Writers
"I can't believe you did this twice," Groom says to her mother in the midst of giving birth to her son. At 19, this new mom is already an out-of-control alcoholic, apparently even immune to rehab. She had begun drinking four years before, loving the sense of warmth, confidence, and ultimately the numbness that it seemed to provide. In her alcoholic haze, she doesn't yet realize her decision to abandon her son for adoption will haunt her for decades, nor can she know that when her toddler son dies of leukemia, all the fear, desperation, and guilt that had been festering for years will finally explode and send her spinning into a freefall of self-destruction. She only knows that her nonstop drinking brings her ever closer to some almost inconceivable breaking point. Only one thing saves her: the journal she began keeping during her pregnancy and continued through all the dark years of her loss. "I was afraid to stop typing," she writes. "I was afraid I'd start to die."
Expanded from a much-praised Ploughshares essay, I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl is an unflinching yet deeply poetic memoir that captures the rawness and urgency of addiction as well as the tenderness and heartbreak surrounding the loss of a son. The grace and power of Groom's voice and the quality of her writing will linger in readers' minds.