Riding Fury Home
by Chana Wilson (Seal Press
) is a kind of dual memoir, in which Chana tells her story from her own perspective and about midway through takes up her mother Gloria’s story as well. There is so much pain in this book, but also joy, forgiveness, and compassion. There’s also
understanding, which is so often missing in stories about parental relationship and trauma in particular. I loved that while Gloria didn't get to write her story before she died, Chana basically did, and that seeing her mother's story from that point of view affected the way Chana saw her own story. It's interesting that the early part of the book portrays her mother as potentially damaged internally or weak or unable to handle herself in the world. It turns out that it's society that can't handle her, and that she's such an incredibly strong woman, as is her daughter. We also get to see a bit of the early women's movement and the feminist circles and groups that popped up, and I loved reading about that time since I wasn't around to live it. This is powerful—about mental illness, about society, about being true to yourself, about forgiveness, about working hard to make yourself better.