BOOK: Estranged

AUTHOR: Jessica Berger Gross







This is the type of book to be read in about an hour. I got it from KINDLE . The Title of the book caught my eyes. I mean, with a title like “Estranged”, one expects that the book has an enthralling story line.

The book starts with the narrator seated at home alone. It was a quiet Saturday evening and she was sitting in a computer in the bedroom when her phone rung. She ignored it, then came the voicemail.

The voice mail message says, “I’m in Williams-town, I’d like to meet for coffee.” The narrator and her boyfriend Neil had moved from Brooklyn after the summer of 9/11. They lived near Massachusetts college where Neil taught. The call was from narrator’s father whom she hadn’t spoken to in years. How had he tracked her down after all those years? She wondered. She thinks that the father is after her and is scared. Neil isn’t around as he had gone for an interview in California. The narrator calls an old friend, Kathy and tells her of the message. Kathy advises her to leave.The narrator then goes to Mr Milburn the . landlord’s house and explains her predicament. The narrator says she dislikes bothering people with her problems asking for help, but she had to as she knew that her father had hurt her previously, and him attempting to call him wasn’t the best thing “..All my life I’d avoided this very shame–the knock on a stranger’s door asking for help, the admission that my father had hurt me, and might again.” Though the narrator and Mathew Milburn don’t talk much, she fells she can trust him.

The author and her family are not  close. They rarely talk. The last time she communicated with her parents or brothers was thirteen years ago. She never invited her family for her wedding, nor her mother when her child was born. Though not tight with them, the narrator wishes that they could be close. “I’ve always wanted a mother and a father—a family—people to love and accept and nurture me, for whom I could do the same.”

The book is a memoir about the author’s life living in a family where there were constant domestic fights. She felt it was too much and so told her parents not to call her back. She says that the longer she stayed without seeing her parents, the better her life became. Initially after the estrangement from her family, she felt ashamed of her choice, but as days went by, she met people who shared a similar story with her and felt okay.

To sum it up, the book talks about abuse in families; whether sexually, physical or psychologically. It is sad that those who are meant to care for children sometimes mistreat and neglect the children making them scared. Some like the author, even run away never to see their families again.