A gripping account detailing a May-December romance between two women.



A writer recounts her controversial affair with a much older woman in this debut memoir.

Cohen first met Sarah when she was still a closeted undergraduate with dreams of one day being a writer. The author took a summer job on campus as a counselor helping to orient incoming students. Sarah was her boss, a hard-nosed woman in her 50s who quickly took a shine to Cohen—and the author worked hard to impress her. After graduation, Cohen found a job in admissions and remained on campus, continuing to run into Sarah now and then. The connection between the two was enough to draw the attention of the author’s first girlfriend, who commented on the impropriety of Sarah being attracted to a woman one-third her age. The attraction, though, was mutual. “That night I woke from a dream in which Sarah showed up at my apartment, told me her girlfriend had left her, and kissed me,” writes Cohen. “I tried falling back to sleep, but my brain was hellbent on replaying the dream.” Eventually, the two acted on their desires despite Sarah’s long-term relationship with a woman named Linda. But the secret could only stay hidden for so long, and when the truth of their love became public, the author was forced to live with the consequences of her affair. Cohen’s prose is simple but urgent, capturing the passion and confusion of her emotions: “Fifteen minutes later Sarah pulled into the driveway at my parents’ house. It was pitch black out, the sky full of stars. The air smelled cold like snow was coming. I shuddered…Sarah was about to meet my parents who thought they would be meeting my former boss, not my current lover.” The book moves quickly, and the author proves a sympathetic protagonist even when she recounts decisions that readers will likely wish she hadn’t made. It’s a compelling scenario, one that feels transgressive to both the writer and readers, and Cohen holds her audience’s attention to the end.

A gripping account detailing a May-December romance between two women.

Pub Date: Sept. 20, 2022

ISBN: 979-8-9857017-0-8

Page Count: 262

Publisher: Dividends Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

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The heartbreaking story of an emotionally battered child delivered with captivating candor and grace.

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The former iCarly star reflects on her difficult childhood.

In her debut memoir, titled after her 2020 one-woman show, singer and actor McCurdy (b. 1992) reveals the raw details of what she describes as years of emotional abuse at the hands of her demanding, emotionally unstable stage mom, Debra. Born in Los Angeles, the author, along with three older brothers, grew up in a home controlled by her mother. When McCurdy was 3, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Though she initially survived, the disease’s recurrence would ultimately take her life when the author was 21. McCurdy candidly reconstructs those in-between years, showing how “my mom emotionally, mentally, and physically abused me in ways that will forever impact me.” Insistent on molding her only daughter into “Mommy’s little actress,” Debra shuffled her to auditions beginning at age 6. As she matured and starting booking acting gigs, McCurdy remained “desperate to impress Mom,” while Debra became increasingly obsessive about her daughter’s physical appearance. She tinted her daughter’s eyelashes, whitened her teeth, enforced a tightly monitored regimen of “calorie restriction,” and performed regular genital exams on her as a teenager. Eventually, the author grew understandably resentful and tried to distance herself from her mother. As a young celebrity, however, McCurdy became vulnerable to eating disorders, alcohol addiction, self-loathing, and unstable relationships. Throughout the book, she honestly portrays Debra’s cruel perfectionist personality and abusive behavior patterns, showing a woman who could get enraged by everything from crooked eyeliner to spilled milk. At the same time, McCurdy exhibits compassion for her deeply flawed mother. Late in the book, she shares a crushing secret her father revealed to her as an adult. While McCurdy didn’t emerge from her childhood unscathed, she’s managed to spin her harrowing experience into a sold-out stage act and achieve a form of catharsis that puts her mind, body, and acting career at peace.

The heartbreaking story of an emotionally battered child delivered with captivating candor and grace.

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-982185-82-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2022

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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