The Beginning Things is a novel of lessons and of steps towards redemption. Twelve-year-old Tot Thompson, mourning the loss of her father and stranded on an island of familial dysfunction, finds a moment of importance in a neighbor's bed. Dan Grad, her recently widowed grandfather, finds a sharp-edged peace inside a bottle of Bells Whiskey. Both have lessons to learn...and strangely enough, important lessons to teach.
"Watch out. You can get dangerously attached to the people of Tot Thompson's world. Dangerous because the last page WILL COME and you shall realize it's only a book." -Carolyn Chute, author of The Beans of Egypt, Maine and others.
"The Beginning Things contains three coming-of-age stories, all of them beautifully told with equal parts toughness and tenderness. Readers will recognize important truths about themselves and their lives as lived through Tot, the pre-teen; Elaine, Tot's single mother, and Dan, Elaine's recently widowed father-in-law. Goodjohn balances each of their stories with dry humor and a strong sense of the importance of both endings and beginnings, as well as the battles and triumphs of the in-betweens. This is a rare book, wound tight as thread around a finger, and as lyrical as everyday things fully realized. I have nothing but praise for its wise and insightful author. Enter the world of The Beginning Things, and you will not want to emerge again until the very last word." -Morgan Callan Rogers, author of Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bunny Goodjohn was born in London in 1960 and moved to the United States in 1999. She is published in both prose and poetry and her books include Sticklebacks and Snow Globes (Permanent Press 2007, Scribe 2008, Centrepolygraph 2008) and Bone Song (Briery Creek Press 2015). She teaches and directs the Writing Program at Randolph College in Lynchburg. www.bagoodjohn.com
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.55(d)|
About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A beautifully written, engaging and wise story about an atypical, but certainly not uncommon, family in the UK in the seventies. The mother, Elaine, is left feeling “punch drunk” and old at age 40 after her husband’s abandonment. She struggles to provide for two daughters, but life gets complicated when one daughter becomes pregnant, and a boisterous toddler is added to the household. The younger girl, Tot, is a hormonal twelve year-old with a myriad of questions about the “beginning and ending things” of love, especially concerning an older boy (a nasty piece of work) she has a crush on. Elaine’s father-in-law joins the mix, newly widowed and suddenly bankrupt due to his deceased wife’s gambling addiction. He sleeps in a makeshift bedroom that was once the dining room. Elaine thinks it’ll be good to have a man around the house, but doesn’t know he’s got a serious drinking problem with the potential to do real damage. How Elaine, Tot and her granddad, each with their own burdens and questions about life, move from merely tolerating each other to helping each other find meaning and some measure of peace will give you hope and clarity. This is what family does. You will remember these characters long after you close the book.