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Implosion: A Memoir of an Architect's Daughter

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Elizabeth Garber’s father, visionary architect Woodie Garber, had already built his masterwork—the family’s glass-walled house—when he received the commission to create Sanders Hall, a glass tower dormitory at The University of Cincinnati. At the time, Elizabeth was still impressed with her brilliant father and his taste for modernism, jazz, art, and race cars. But as she Elizabeth Garber’s father, visionary architect Woodie Garber, had already built his masterwork—the family’s glass-walled house—when he received the commission to create Sanders Hall, a glass tower dormitory at The University of Cincinnati. At the time, Elizabeth was still impressed with her brilliant father and his taste for modernism, jazz, art, and race cars. But as she grew up, her adoration faded. Woodie became more controlling. Belittling. Inappropriate. As the late 1960’s and early 1970s culture wars and race riots reached Cincinnati, and when Elizabeth started dating an African-American student at her high school, Woodie’s racism emerged. He became more volatile. His abuse splintered the family, and unexpected problems with the design of Sanders Hall precipitated a financial crisis that was exacerbated by a sinking economy. In the end, not only was the family torn apart, but so was Sanders Hall, which the university razed only twenty years later. In this powerful memoir, Elizabeth Garber describes Woodie’s deepening mental illness, the destruction of her family, and her own slow healing from his abuse. Beautifully written and heartbreaking, Garber's memoir is also a survivor's story—about a young woman trying to rescue her family and herself. Now a mother and a healer, Garber’s story offers the hope that we can process trauma and move on, that we can each become the architects of our own lives.


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Elizabeth Garber’s father, visionary architect Woodie Garber, had already built his masterwork—the family’s glass-walled house—when he received the commission to create Sanders Hall, a glass tower dormitory at The University of Cincinnati. At the time, Elizabeth was still impressed with her brilliant father and his taste for modernism, jazz, art, and race cars. But as she Elizabeth Garber’s father, visionary architect Woodie Garber, had already built his masterwork—the family’s glass-walled house—when he received the commission to create Sanders Hall, a glass tower dormitory at The University of Cincinnati. At the time, Elizabeth was still impressed with her brilliant father and his taste for modernism, jazz, art, and race cars. But as she grew up, her adoration faded. Woodie became more controlling. Belittling. Inappropriate. As the late 1960’s and early 1970s culture wars and race riots reached Cincinnati, and when Elizabeth started dating an African-American student at her high school, Woodie’s racism emerged. He became more volatile. His abuse splintered the family, and unexpected problems with the design of Sanders Hall precipitated a financial crisis that was exacerbated by a sinking economy. In the end, not only was the family torn apart, but so was Sanders Hall, which the university razed only twenty years later. In this powerful memoir, Elizabeth Garber describes Woodie’s deepening mental illness, the destruction of her family, and her own slow healing from his abuse. Beautifully written and heartbreaking, Garber's memoir is also a survivor's story—about a young woman trying to rescue her family and herself. Now a mother and a healer, Garber’s story offers the hope that we can process trauma and move on, that we can each become the architects of our own lives.

30 review for Implosion: A Memoir of an Architect's Daughter

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Like Tara Westover’s Educated, my other favorite memoir of the year so far, this one is stuffed full of incident and charts a heroine’s survival through almost unimaginable psychological oppression. The author grew up in a glass house designed by her father, Modernist architect Woodie Garber, outside Cincinnati in the 1960s to 70s. This and Woodie’s other most notable design, Sander Hall, a controversial tower-style dorm at the University of Cincinnati, serve as powerful metaphors for her dysfun Like Tara Westover’s Educated, my other favorite memoir of the year so far, this one is stuffed full of incident and charts a heroine’s survival through almost unimaginable psychological oppression. The author grew up in a glass house designed by her father, Modernist architect Woodie Garber, outside Cincinnati in the 1960s to 70s. This and Woodie’s other most notable design, Sander Hall, a controversial tower-style dorm at the University of Cincinnati, serve as powerful metaphors for her dysfunctional family life. The glass house (which I reckon would make a better title for this memoir, but was probably considered too similar to The Glass Castle) was a status symbol to match Woodie’s racecars and wine cellar filled via the Jergens estate sale; it was also a frame for Woodie’s exhibitionism: he walked around the house naked and forbade his three children from closing the bathroom door. He said he wouldn’t allow prudery and wanted his children comfortable with their bodies. Fair enough, but he also photographed them nude to log their development and gave them front and back massages – even after Elizabeth went through puberty. Woodie is such a fascinating, flawed figure. Elizabeth later likens him to Odysseus, the tragic hero of his own life. Manic depression meant he had periods of great productivity on designs and landscaping for the glass house, but also weeks when he couldn’t get out of bed. He and Elizabeth connected over architecture, like when he helped her make a scale model of Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye for a school project, but it was hard for a man born in the 1910s to understand his daughter’s generation, or even his wife’s desire to go back to school and embark on her own career in criminal justice. His standards were impossibly high; he railed at his kids for having no integrity or work ethic. It’s no wonder the marriage and the father–children relationships fell apart, just like Sander Hall, which after a spate of arson was destroyed in a controlled explosion in 1991. Several of the most memorable memoirs I’ve read this year have focused on the contradictions of a larger-than-life father – Blake Morrison’s And When Did You Last See Your Father?, Rebecca Stott’s In the Days of Rain, and Educated – and that’s a major theme here, too. Mixed feelings towards a charismatic creative genius who made home life a torment and the way their fractured family kept going afterwards are reasons enough to read this book. But another is just that Garber’s life has been so interesting: she observed the 1968 race riots and had a black boyfriend back when interracial relationships were rare and frowned upon; she was briefly the librarian for the Oceanics School, whose boat was taken hostage in Panama; and she dropped out of mythology studies at Harvard to become an acupuncturist. Don’t be fooled into thinking this will be a boring tome only for architecture buffs. It’s a masterful memoir for everyone. I especially loved the photographs of the family and of Woodie’s buildings. (Releases June 12th.)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Shirley Glubka

    When I finished reading the final page of "Implosion" and closed the book and sat and felt the impact, my first thought was of Greek tragedy. The drama of Garber and her father, the drama of this family, felt that intense, that complex, that large, that important. I am not usually a memoir reader. I read novels, poetry, philosophy. I have no patience for mediocre writing. Elizabeth Garber is good: she caught me, and she kept me. Her writing is clear and clean, her thinking is complex and mature, When I finished reading the final page of "Implosion" and closed the book and sat and felt the impact, my first thought was of Greek tragedy. The drama of Garber and her father, the drama of this family, felt that intense, that complex, that large, that important. I am not usually a memoir reader. I read novels, poetry, philosophy. I have no patience for mediocre writing. Elizabeth Garber is good: she caught me, and she kept me. Her writing is clear and clean, her thinking is complex and mature, and she can tell a story. I often felt as if I were reading a good novel as event followed event. A good novel: subtle and intense, understated and vivid, unafraid of ideas, unafraid of truth. As a retired psychotherapist I was impressed. Garber reaches around the whole thorny terrible beautiful and ultimately tragic reality of her big, brilliant, mentally ill, and psychologically blind architect father and embraces the entire reality. She does not spare herself, calmly and carefully telling of her own complicated responses to being this man's daughter. Nothing is over-dramatized, nothing is, it would seem, glossed over. This is not a story about murder, suicide, rape, or unrelenting physical violence. It is a story about powerful subtle insidious family experiences that can be similarly challenging and often more confusing, especially when mixed with so much that is grounded in beauty and creativity in a family life seemingly meant to be altogether extraordinary.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lesley Heiser

    I'm a big reader and I love memoir. I've been struggling to find my big July read and when I picked up Elizabeth Garber's memoir a couple of days ago I was not prepared to "wake up" in another three or four or five dimensional world that, despite the terror and tension on many pages, I would not want to leave. This is an experience not a book. The artistry, intellectual history, appreciation of art and nature, love, adventure, hope, and devastation weave themselves into a tapestry unlike any oth I'm a big reader and I love memoir. I've been struggling to find my big July read and when I picked up Elizabeth Garber's memoir a couple of days ago I was not prepared to "wake up" in another three or four or five dimensional world that, despite the terror and tension on many pages, I would not want to leave. This is an experience not a book. The artistry, intellectual history, appreciation of art and nature, love, adventure, hope, and devastation weave themselves into a tapestry unlike any other I have experienced. Also, if you had a narcissistic dad, like I did, this is the book for you. This is a tour de force. I"m a little envious of the author but send her hearty congrats.

  4. 4 out of 5

    David Estey

    Elizabeth beautifully and courageously describes her loving but painful devotion to a brilliant but manically abusive father, and thus dysfunctional family, in a cathartic memoir late in life. As a gifted poet, she draws you in to relive her life and times, with detailed, sensitve descriptions of art, architecture, characters, events, places and complicated relationships that make for a bittersweet and gripping story. Implosion is a must read. David Estey

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rona Maynard

    Abusive parents have launched at least a thousand memoirs. I’ve read many, forgotten most. For every THIS BOY'S LIFE, EDUCATED or WHY BE HAPPY WHEN YOU COULD BE NORMALl?, there’s a stack of books that don’t leave the reader any wiser. I read memoir to learn how another human being made a life from the betrayals and bafflements of living. I want to walk beside the writer as she reckons with a question that demands all the strength and heart she’s got. Elizabeth Garber is my kind of memoirist. In I Abusive parents have launched at least a thousand memoirs. I’ve read many, forgotten most. For every THIS BOY'S LIFE, EDUCATED or WHY BE HAPPY WHEN YOU COULD BE NORMALl?, there’s a stack of books that don’t leave the reader any wiser. I read memoir to learn how another human being made a life from the betrayals and bafflements of living. I want to walk beside the writer as she reckons with a question that demands all the strength and heart she’s got. Elizabeth Garber is my kind of memoirist. In IMPLOSION, she asks, “How did I become my own woman while still honoring the memory of the father who abused me and held my entire family captive to his obsessions?” My words, not hers. Elizabeth was Daddy’s girl. What he loved, she loved too, from Archie Shepp to Mies van der Rohe. When he called, she came—even when it meant digging and sanding instead of playing with friends. She was his student, his sidekick, his refuge from small minds resistant to his bold architectural vision. Other kids’ fathers worked at humdrum jobs; Woodie Garber embraced a calling, modernist architecture. His charisma had a dark side, mental illness that eventually shattered the family—but not before Elizabeth, his favorite child, became his sexual plaything. Not before his jealousy killed her first romance. Other kids moved into houses; the Elizabeth and her brothers had to help build theirs. In a finely wrought premonitory scene, Elizabeth recalls her first view of this modernist temple: "We stood together, my little brothers holding my mother's hands, and I leaned against my dad, his arm flung around my back, as we looked at what we had created. The darkness hid the mud field. The house shimmered like a white mirage in the valley, the crushed glass walls sparkling, while the Great Room blazed as if on fire, red orange, and wood reflected and glowed inside the long glass walls. We were dazzled by my father's vision. We had all worked together to make it happen. He clapped us all on the back, heady with delight. 'We did it.' We nodded, smiling, repeating his words, almost stunned by this magnificence, never dreaming what would happen to us living in this blazing cauldron." Each family member carries a particular wound for Woodie, and I felt for them all. At times I had to put the book down and take a deep, stabilizing breath. When Woodie makes the children pose for nude photos, supposedly to teach them pride in their bodies, I struggled to contain my fury. Why do families make excuses for men like Woodie Garber--brilliant and original, but monstrous? Why does no one say of abusive mothers, "Give her a break--she's so brilliant and original?" Be warned: the Garber family's dream house is a sorcerer's castle from the Brothers Grimm. I trusted Elizabeth to lead me out, and she worked her storytelling magic. To my surprise, I found myself caring for Woodie. I came to understand why his much younger wife fell for him, and why she lived under his thumb for much too long. In a sparkling dinner-party scene, young Elizabeth marvels as her parents regale their guests with a wild adventure from their courtship, involving a Bugatti, burning oil, ruined clothes and barely enough money to pay the mechanic. I felt the exuberance, the promise of a charmed life. I began to see Woodie not as a monster but as a tragic figure undone by demons and bad luck (an early, revolutionary office tower ran afoul of anti-modernist politicians and was never built). Let's be honest. Nobody ever wakes up thinking, "How can I screw up my kids today?" I learned this long ago with my own charismatic, enraging father, but sometimes I forget. A fine memoirist, by recounting what she's come to know, reconnects me to my own knowing. I don't read memoir to learn what becomes of the protagonist. I already know. In Elizabeth Garber's case, I've seen photos of her mother, still going strong at 93, her grandchildren, and her walks in Belfast, Maine, where she works as an acupuncturist. (She's on Facebook and Instagram. You can meet her too.) I opened Implosion fully aware that the traumatized young woman at its center has become a healer. How did she get from there to here? Without flinching from the damage Woodie did, Elizabeth writes lovingly about his infectious capacity for joy. She takes pride in his legacy and shares his sense of loss for dreams never realized. In Implosion, she braids two stories: her own ascent to self-determination and her father's collapse, both professional and personal. I think of Rumpelstiltskin, who holds a bright young woman captive for her gift of spinning straw into gold. He tests her hard but she calls him out. Unable to bear the humiliation, he stamps his foot until he breaks himself in two. No one grieves for vicious Rumpelstiltskin. With dangerous parental opponents, it's not that simple

  6. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Lindsay

    Propulsive, poetic, and courageous, Elizabeth Garber's IMPLOSION is the best kind of memoir: you experience right along with her and leave it feeling a sense of renewal. But that's not to say everything in IMPLOSION (SWP, June 2018) is glorious; it's not. This is a subtle, intense exploration of a young woman's survival through psychological oppression, as she (and her mother and two brothers) are raised in a glass house, a prison, constructed of her father's mental illness. Woodie Garber w Propulsive, poetic, and courageous, Elizabeth Garber's IMPLOSION is the best kind of memoir: you experience right along with her and leave it feeling a sense of renewal. But that's not to say everything in IMPLOSION (SWP, June 2018) is glorious; it's not. This is a subtle, intense exploration of a young woman's survival through psychological oppression, as she (and her mother and two brothers) are raised in a glass house, a prison, constructed of her father's mental illness. Woodie Garber was a famous Modernist architect, designing structures that would rise from the earth resembling glass cubes. He builds the family's home--a glass house--in a privileged area of Cincinnati in the 1960s. The family leaves behind the 1870s Victorian where the Garber family has resided for many generations. But it's not all sunshine and mirth in that glass house. At first, Woodie just seems eccentric. He's brilliant and bursting with ideas. He loves jazz records and good wine, racing cars, and art. Elizabeth has a connection with her father--they share many of the same interests and she so wants to emulate him--visiting his office and making models of her favorite Modernist house. Yet, something deeper and dark is brewing. Woodie's mood becomes destructive, pulling his family into a tight spiral of strange, insidious experiences, which are challenging and confusing on so many levels. There's something large and looming in the horizon --I certainly felt the impact as the whole family--and Sander Hall--came tumbling down. It takes years of reflection, therapy, and more to get to the final resolution, but oh--we get there. The writing is crisp, clear, and wise. Garber shows the shadows and the light of the toll mental illness--specifically bipolar--can take on a family. Well done! I'm reminded a bit of Meredith Hall's WITHOUT A MAP (fathers and daughters, Europe) with IMPLOSION , but also a bit of Gayle Brandeis's THE ART OF MISDIAGNOSIS meets THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (Welch). For all my reviews, including author interviews, please see: www.leslielindsay.com|Always with a Book Special thanks to SWP and the author for this review copy. All thoughts are my own.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Closer to 4.25/4.5. The gripping yet disturbing story of Modernist architect Woodie Garber and the family he controlled, manipulated, abused and ultimately lost, as told by his daughter. A tough but ultimately satisfying read, though it is completely understandable if one doesn't think they can handle the subject matter and passes on it. Closer to 4.25/4.5. The gripping yet disturbing story of Modernist architect Woodie Garber and the family he controlled, manipulated, abused and ultimately lost, as told by his daughter. A tough but ultimately satisfying read, though it is completely understandable if one doesn't think they can handle the subject matter and passes on it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sian Lile-Pastore

    Really enjoyed this memoir about growing up with a modernist architect for a father. Loved the stuff about architecture, and found the bits about how the rise of civil rights and feminism in the 60s and 70s gave the mum and the author the space to grow away from the abusive authority of the dad.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    Why this book has not hit the bestseller list I do not know. Review to follow.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Pooler

    In Implosion: A Memoir of An Architect’s Daughter, Elizabeth Garber tells the story of growing up in a glass house designed by her famous father, Woodie Garber, who was referred to as “Cincinnati’s most extreme, experimental and creative Modern architect”. The story is set against the backdrop of the turbulent 60s in Cincinnati and explores the impact this tumultuous time has on this family. Garber skillfully reveals the complexities of this man through the eyes of a young girl who is in awe of h In Implosion: A Memoir of An Architect’s Daughter, Elizabeth Garber tells the story of growing up in a glass house designed by her famous father, Woodie Garber, who was referred to as “Cincinnati’s most extreme, experimental and creative Modern architect”. The story is set against the backdrop of the turbulent 60s in Cincinnati and explores the impact this tumultuous time has on this family. Garber skillfully reveals the complexities of this man through the eyes of a young girl who is in awe of his knowledge of modern architecture, his accomplishments as an architect and his love of teaching. As a reader, I was a little stymied in the beginning by the technical language but the further I got into the story, the more I appreciated the intricacies associated with his thought process which serves as a trigger for his subsequent mental illness and abuse. This is a multilayered story about a man who quickly rose to fame with his radical beliefs about modernism but then became a victim of major social change. We see this brilliant man unraveling and embattling himself against his wife and two children. He made his family his enemy and became impossible to live with—demanding them to follow his strange and unconventional rules such as constant work, walking around naked, not allowing the bathroom door to be closed and photographing his children in various stages of puberty. His rules included no boundaries and no questioning the rules. The author describes going from a young girl who cherished the experience of living in a light-filled modern house that was different than anyone else’s home to a tortured teen who was being held hostage to this man’s delusions eventually escaping to establish a life of her own. Despite her abusive childhood, the author shares how her father’s enthusiasm and passionate creativity for his work remain an inspiration to her. A well-written and engaging story that not only sheds a light on modernism but also shows how the love between a father and daughter can endure even through the challenges caused by mental illness and abuse.

  11. 4 out of 5

    David

    Takes a while to get going -- I almost gave up in frustration at the many hints that things were about to go seriously wrong with her idolized father the superstar architect. But she is an excellent writer and kept me engaged well enough and long enough to carry on to the more eventful part. And ultimately it was quite eventful and sad -- her volatile, sexually abusive, explosively angry father's inadequately treated bipolar disorder comes to rule the family until everyone finally leaves him. Fas Takes a while to get going -- I almost gave up in frustration at the many hints that things were about to go seriously wrong with her idolized father the superstar architect. But she is an excellent writer and kept me engaged well enough and long enough to carry on to the more eventful part. And ultimately it was quite eventful and sad -- her volatile, sexually abusive, explosively angry father's inadequately treated bipolar disorder comes to rule the family until everyone finally leaves him. Fascinating subplots about what it's like to try to forgive and reconcile with aging and infirm Dad when your siblings and mother don't want to, about getting tremendous flak in the late 60s for her relationship with an African American boyfriend, about controversial 27-story dorm her Dad designed for U. of Cincinnati that was eventually demolished in a controlled explosion, being sent off to work as a teen on a boat sailing around the world, dropping out of Harvard in the 70s, becoming an acupuncturist and more. You might get more out of it if you know something about or have an interest in architecture. I have relatives in that field and certainly respect the hard work and creativity it requires, but i don't know anything much about it (example: why is the Dad's style called "modern"? wouldn't that be a time-limited descriptor guaranteed to make no sense eventually?). Nonetheless, the main issue in the book [her relationship with her father] is fully comprehensible to non-architecture buffs.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Shepherd

    In the prologue to Elizabeth Garber’s bold and brave memoir, she and her father are walking on a beach when he slips a smooth stone into her hand, and asks her to close her eyes and tell him what color it was. “ Any child might say grey,” she writes. “But I was not any child. I was Woodie Garber’s little girl, a modern architect’s daughter, and I knew he did not want a simple answer. At five years old, I had already found comfort in the private way we saw the world. I had to discover a magic ans In the prologue to Elizabeth Garber’s bold and brave memoir, she and her father are walking on a beach when he slips a smooth stone into her hand, and asks her to close her eyes and tell him what color it was. “ Any child might say grey,” she writes. “But I was not any child. I was Woodie Garber’s little girl, a modern architect’s daughter, and I knew he did not want a simple answer. At five years old, I had already found comfort in the private way we saw the world. I had to discover a magic answer that would please him.” As she gets older, pleasing Woodie becomes more and more confounding, as the author navigates the turbulent and ultimately perilous waters that surround the brilliant, visionary, but also mentally ill and abusive father she adores. This is a very visual book, and Garber’s description of her father’s masterpiece, The Glass House, renders the family’s home, too, as a key character in this memoir. Woodie enlists the whole family (his wife, 12-year-old Elizabeth, and her 7 and 9-year-old brothers) in its construction. On the night it’s finished, the family climbs the hill behind the house to view their brightly-lit creation. “We were dazzled by my father’s vision...almost stunned by this magnificence, never dreaming what would happen to us living in that blazing cauldron.” Garber’s story of what happened in that house and how she not only survived the abuse but came into her own as a mother, writer, and healer, makes for a remarkable, sensitive, haunting and satisfying read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Marlena

    Implosion: A Memoir of an Architect’s Daughter is delicate, bold, and deeply honest—all of these things. Elizabeth Garber grapples with her loving and complicated relationship with a father who was exciting in his pursuits, abusive and manipulative, and ultimately in emotional collapse as Modernism began to lose its sheen. That Elizabeth Garber’s father was a modernist architect was what that pulled me in at first, as I grew up surrounded by the minimalist sensibility of the 50s and 60s that har Implosion: A Memoir of an Architect’s Daughter is delicate, bold, and deeply honest—all of these things. Elizabeth Garber grapples with her loving and complicated relationship with a father who was exciting in his pursuits, abusive and manipulative, and ultimately in emotional collapse as Modernism began to lose its sheen. That Elizabeth Garber’s father was a modernist architect was what that pulled me in at first, as I grew up surrounded by the minimalist sensibility of the 50s and 60s that harmonized well with the overwhelming light of my native, tropical Panama. The promised weavings of modernism against the backdrop of 60s and 70s culture in Cincinnati was fully engaging, but the real prize turned out to be Elizabeth Garber herself--the voice of her heart and the breadth of her story. There’s so much more to say. This is one for the forever shelf.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jan P

    Multi-faceted memoir by the daughter of a prominent architect of the mid-century. It chronicles his career and mania;, their family life and dysfunction, all told in a loving and compassionate way. I am fascinated by memoirs and dysfunctional families and this is one of the best I have read. Elizabeth Garber is a gifted writer.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Vickie Mahan

    Implosion I found this book very interesting as I am from Cincinnati. I could picture most of the places in the book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    No more reviews, just ratings. Total strangers are sending me friend requests because of my reviews. Frankly, I find that creepy. But the book was good.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    It was well written, but very painful to read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    Very thoughtful memoir about a passion for architecture, family dysfunction hidden behind success, and the persistence of parental love.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Emmy D. Wells

    An excellent memoir. The story of a young girl growing up under the influence of an abusive and mentally ill father.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Ryan

    The old adage is for writers to "write what they know." The theory is that this approach makes our storytelling easier. But sometimes the task of writing what we know is difficult. Elizabeth Garber grew up in a glass house designed by her father. The house symbolizes many aspects of her family — who never quite fit in with the neighborhood and whose quirks were on display for all to see. We are metaphorically invited to sit on the knoll in the yard and watch as her father's behavior worsens to t The old adage is for writers to "write what they know." The theory is that this approach makes our storytelling easier. But sometimes the task of writing what we know is difficult. Elizabeth Garber grew up in a glass house designed by her father. The house symbolizes many aspects of her family — who never quite fit in with the neighborhood and whose quirks were on display for all to see. We are metaphorically invited to sit on the knoll in the yard and watch as her father's behavior worsens to the point of shattering the family unit. And the turmoil isn't confined to the Garber home. War protests and riots in the streets of nearby Cincinnati, philosophical fights over the rise of modern architecture, and a crippling recession all ebb and flow through Garber's pages as she takes us on a journey that is sometimes difficult, yet always offers glimpses of a better life beyond — one we hope she and her siblings might attain.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ladyfilosopher

    Elizabeth's courage and hard work, both on herself and with others to put together and publish such a vibrant, scary and loving book, ooze from between many of the paragraphs. Her generosity of spirit towards offering us the emotions and deeds as she and her siblings remember them is moving. It has taken her years to write this book which marks her constancy of purpose. The closing in reference to the beginning felt like a tug on an old style draw string of a hand stitched silk and beaded purse. Elizabeth's courage and hard work, both on herself and with others to put together and publish such a vibrant, scary and loving book, ooze from between many of the paragraphs. Her generosity of spirit towards offering us the emotions and deeds as she and her siblings remember them is moving. It has taken her years to write this book which marks her constancy of purpose. The closing in reference to the beginning felt like a tug on an old style draw string of a hand stitched silk and beaded purse. Needless to say, my eyes welled, and are doing so now as I write, as she closed her narrative with her version of the stone imagery. I wish more women would write about their lives, but at the same time, I do recognise how unnerving, tiring and polemical our lives are as they glue together the lives of so many. HURRAH! to you

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bryan Samuel

  23. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Veilleux

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Christoffels

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sun-Hee Yoon

  26. 4 out of 5

    Monika

    SW Recommendation

  27. 4 out of 5

    librarianka

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sally Baldwin

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten Dahlquist

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