DON'T LET ME DOWN by Erin Hosier

DON'T LET ME DOWN

A Memoir
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A successful literary agent recounts her life and especially her relationship with her father, who was “a mass of contradictions: a pacifist and a tyrant, an optimist with demons, a hippie and a conservative, a proud father and jerk, and a boy and a man.”

Hosier (co-author: Hit So Hard, 2017) has long dealt with unresolved “daddy issues,” but she thought she had tucked the baggage neatly away—that is, until her mother sold the family home and, salvaging the last few childhood relics, the author dug out a Beatles-heavy stack of inherited records. After that opening scene, Hosier proceeds to detail her life story, one closely intertwined with her father, who reared the household on the entire Fab Four canon. “The Beatles records…had provided the soundtrack to our lives and seen us through every great joy and tragedy,” she writes. “Dad and I used those songs to both connect with and escape from each other, to both understand and rebel against each other.” Titled with songs from “Blackbird” to “Hey Jude,” each chapter reveals chronological milestones that shaped the author’s coming-of-age in rural 1980s Ohio. Underneath what seemed an idyllic “Here Comes the Sun” childhood stirred a controlling father who became increasingly volatile. Eventually, writes Hosier, life became “the anxiety of constantly walking on eggshells, the need for order and control, [and] the impulse to try to save others while losing [myself].” Permeated with events like church boot camp and school graduations, the narrative is near cinematic with insights about gender roles, love, and sex gained through experiences involving her parents, romantic relationships, God, and rock music. Struggling through a host of various traumas both minor and major, her mother’s inability to break free, and her father’s battle with cancer and eventual death, Hosier delivers a memoir that is less about chasing an identity and more about having one cast upon her and coming to terms with it.

A vividly rhythmic chronicle of reconciliation couched with a 1960s rock-’n’-roll soundtrack.

Pub Date: Feb. 5th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-4516-4495-1
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Atria
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2019




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