Hot Best Seller

Stepping Back from the Ledge: A Daughter's Search for Truth and Renewal

Availability: Ready to download

In this "seismically moving memoir" (The New York Times Book Review, Editors' Choice), one woman asks a seemingly impossible question in the aftermath of her mother's suicide: How do you mourn a loved one as you repair the injuries they inflicted? "Laura Trujillo resurfaces from the dark 'sub-basement' of despair with assurances for us all: There is hope. There is healing. In this "seismically moving memoir" (The New York Times Book Review, Editors' Choice), one woman asks a seemingly impossible question in the aftermath of her mother's suicide: How do you mourn a loved one as you repair the injuries they inflicted? "Laura Trujillo resurfaces from the dark 'sub-basement' of despair with assurances for us all: There is hope. There is healing. Always, there is love. This book will save lives."--Connie Schultz, author of The Daughters of Erietown Laura Trujillo had been close to her mother for most of her adult life, raising her four children within a few miles of their beloved grandmother's Phoenix home. But just three months after moving her young family to Cincinnati for a new job, Laura receives shocking news: Her mother had taken her own life--by jumping off a ledge into the Grand Canyon, a place Laura knew her mother had always loved. Laura and her mother had shared a profound and special bond, yet each had also kept from the other the deepest truths about their lives. As an adult, Laura finally broke her silence about the sexual abuse she had suffered as a teenager at the hands of her stepfather--a secret Laura had buried to protect her mother. After her mother's death, Laura embarks on an emotional odyssey, searching for clues that could explain the depression, intergenerational trauma, and shared heartbreaks in her family. When she returns to the Grand Canyon, it becomes an oasis that nurtures Laura's search for redemption and peace. As Laura wrestles with her feelings, she forges a new path forward. Moving and intimate, powerfully told, Stepping Back from the Ledge is a remarkable exploration of the bond between a mother and daughter, and of the hope that can come from facing the truth.


Compare

In this "seismically moving memoir" (The New York Times Book Review, Editors' Choice), one woman asks a seemingly impossible question in the aftermath of her mother's suicide: How do you mourn a loved one as you repair the injuries they inflicted? "Laura Trujillo resurfaces from the dark 'sub-basement' of despair with assurances for us all: There is hope. There is healing. In this "seismically moving memoir" (The New York Times Book Review, Editors' Choice), one woman asks a seemingly impossible question in the aftermath of her mother's suicide: How do you mourn a loved one as you repair the injuries they inflicted? "Laura Trujillo resurfaces from the dark 'sub-basement' of despair with assurances for us all: There is hope. There is healing. Always, there is love. This book will save lives."--Connie Schultz, author of The Daughters of Erietown Laura Trujillo had been close to her mother for most of her adult life, raising her four children within a few miles of their beloved grandmother's Phoenix home. But just three months after moving her young family to Cincinnati for a new job, Laura receives shocking news: Her mother had taken her own life--by jumping off a ledge into the Grand Canyon, a place Laura knew her mother had always loved. Laura and her mother had shared a profound and special bond, yet each had also kept from the other the deepest truths about their lives. As an adult, Laura finally broke her silence about the sexual abuse she had suffered as a teenager at the hands of her stepfather--a secret Laura had buried to protect her mother. After her mother's death, Laura embarks on an emotional odyssey, searching for clues that could explain the depression, intergenerational trauma, and shared heartbreaks in her family. When she returns to the Grand Canyon, it becomes an oasis that nurtures Laura's search for redemption and peace. As Laura wrestles with her feelings, she forges a new path forward. Moving and intimate, powerfully told, Stepping Back from the Ledge is a remarkable exploration of the bond between a mother and daughter, and of the hope that can come from facing the truth.

30 review for Stepping Back from the Ledge: A Daughter's Search for Truth and Renewal

  1. 5 out of 5

    Valerity (Val)

    I found this a compelling read about a woman’s battle to deal with her mother’s suicide. She found herself really struggling in the time after learning of her mom’s death, and takes off on a search for answers. She used counseling, medication, and trying to get answers herself for why her mother made the choice she did. It’s a tough subject, but it handled with honest and compassion. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Clairelouloves

    This was heart-wrenching and I thought the author so eloquently put her story into words, generously displaying emotional intelligence, compassion, and forgiveness. I was so saddened by the lack of validation upon unravelling the devastating truth, and the betrayal she further suffered with loved ones who turned their backs. I felt anger at a loving note that was still disclosed to him after what he had done, although I try my best to refrain from judgement. I feel she has endured so much and th This was heart-wrenching and I thought the author so eloquently put her story into words, generously displaying emotional intelligence, compassion, and forgiveness. I was so saddened by the lack of validation upon unravelling the devastating truth, and the betrayal she further suffered with loved ones who turned their backs. I felt anger at a loving note that was still disclosed to him after what he had done, although I try my best to refrain from judgement. I feel she has endured so much and the truth is the truth, she was always right to tell it. This story was upsetting at times and I applaud the author for telling it in such a thoughtful and respectful manner which betrays both her generosity and empathy. She navigated the difficult path of grief and depression and tried to make sense out of the unthinkable. I thought this poignant phrase was very thought-provoking and powerful: ‘And the thing with suicide is this: Everyone has their own part of a story, and many don’t want to share. There is shame for some, and for others there is blame. Many don’t want to talk about it, They don’t want to answer questions or even remember the past. There’s no one who has the answer, and sometimes the bits they have, they lock inside. Or they remember the way they can or want. They want to protect the memory of the person they love.’ 4.5 stars.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Janilyn Kocher

    Trujillo writes a poignant memoir about a difficult subject: suicide. Her mother ended her life at the Grand Canyon in 2012. It happened months after her daughter, Trujillo, finally revealed a deep,secret, she had been sexually abused for years by her mother’s husband. The book details how the author has grappled with her mother’s death, studying and retracing her last movements and thoughts. It’s a must read for anyone who has lost anyone to suicide. Thanks to Random House and NetGalley for the Trujillo writes a poignant memoir about a difficult subject: suicide. Her mother ended her life at the Grand Canyon in 2012. It happened months after her daughter, Trujillo, finally revealed a deep,secret, she had been sexually abused for years by her mother’s husband. The book details how the author has grappled with her mother’s death, studying and retracing her last movements and thoughts. It’s a must read for anyone who has lost anyone to suicide. Thanks to Random House and NetGalley for the advance read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Woodstock Pickett

    When I was a young woman, mother of a toddler, a good friend of mine took her own life. Her family said almost nothing about the circumstances, even describing her death as "an accident." I missed her terribly after she died. For all the intervening years, whenever I thought about her I've begun to wonder all over again. Trujillo's remarkable book comes very close to mirroring my own feelings as I remember my friend and think about her life. The author's mother died by suicide by jumping over the When I was a young woman, mother of a toddler, a good friend of mine took her own life. Her family said almost nothing about the circumstances, even describing her death as "an accident." I missed her terribly after she died. For all the intervening years, whenever I thought about her I've begun to wonder all over again. Trujillo's remarkable book comes very close to mirroring my own feelings as I remember my friend and think about her life. The author's mother died by suicide by jumping over the edge of a Grand Canyon overlook. The shockwave of her mother's death sent the daughter into a depressive spiral to the point where she herself made plans to kill herself. The book traces this experience - the shock of the death, the guilt, the long recovery from the heavy time of depression. It's not always easy to keep turning pages, but in the end, very worthwhile.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Hillary Copsey

    This memoir, about suicide and the secrets we keep from the people we love most, is beautifully written, well-reported and bravely told. As a former journalist, I really appreciated Laura's consideration and dissection of the places where her story overlaps with her children's, her family's; the places where her mom's story is part of someone else's experience; and who gets to tell what part. This is a book written with honesty and courage and immense care. Thanks to NetGalley for the advance co This memoir, about suicide and the secrets we keep from the people we love most, is beautifully written, well-reported and bravely told. As a former journalist, I really appreciated Laura's consideration and dissection of the places where her story overlaps with her children's, her family's; the places where her mom's story is part of someone else's experience; and who gets to tell what part. This is a book written with honesty and courage and immense care. Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michelle McGrane

    A grieving and confused daughter, Laura Trujillo wrote “Stepping Back from the Ledge: A Daughter’s Search for Truth and Renewal” after her mother ended her life by jumping from the edge of the Grand Canyon. She wanted to understand how such a thing could have happened and whether she could have done anything to prevent it. Six months before her mother’s death, at her therapist’s advice, Trujillo disclosed to her mother that she had been sexually abused by her stepfather for years as a teenager. S A grieving and confused daughter, Laura Trujillo wrote “Stepping Back from the Ledge: A Daughter’s Search for Truth and Renewal” after her mother ended her life by jumping from the edge of the Grand Canyon. She wanted to understand how such a thing could have happened and whether she could have done anything to prevent it. Six months before her mother’s death, at her therapist’s advice, Trujillo disclosed to her mother that she had been sexually abused by her stepfather for years as a teenager. She was then 40-years-old. After her mother’s death, family members turned their backs on her. Instead of being angry at her stepfather, they blamed her for her mother’s death. While they knew how desperately her mother was struggling with depression, Trujillo was unaware of what her mother was going through. Another challenge she faced was how to discuss her mother’s death with her four children who all adored their grandma. She and her husband, John, told their two eldest boys and held off on the details when they gently broke the news to their youngest son and daughter. Moved, partially, by a note her mother had written to her family about being “too proud to seek help” and realizing her suicide was the extreme outcome of bottling her up her feelings for years, Trujillo realized she needed to ask for help and find a net to catch her when she fell. In “Stepping Back from the Ledge: A Daughter’s Search for Truth and Renewal” the author takes her readers on her journey through guilt, grief, loss, anger, discovery and healing. This is an illuminating and courageous memoir written with great love. I think the book would be a great choice for a book club as there are so many points of discussion. (TW: Teenage sexual abuse; suicide) A huge thank you to @NetGalley and @RandomHouse for the ARC.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    The author, Laura Trujillo speaks of her personal and heartbreaking experience of dealing with her mother’s suicide in this touching and well-written memoir. Laura begins with a brief account of what happened to her mother then explores her own reactions and her personal grief process. She describes how she went to a very dark place during this time, even to the point of contemplating suicide herself. She spends one chapter addressing how the media covers suicide and how this has changed over th The author, Laura Trujillo speaks of her personal and heartbreaking experience of dealing with her mother’s suicide in this touching and well-written memoir. Laura begins with a brief account of what happened to her mother then explores her own reactions and her personal grief process. She describes how she went to a very dark place during this time, even to the point of contemplating suicide herself. She spends one chapter addressing how the media covers suicide and how this has changed over the years. Her experience with her own grief and how other family members grieved differently is thoroughly addressed. My favorite quote from the book is “Everyone grieves differently and we must all give others grace.” Laura explains how she was sexually abused by her mother’s husband (she does not refer to him as “stepfather”) and how her mother killed herself a few months after Laura revealed this to her thus drawing blame from other people. She ends up conducting her own psychological autopsy, learning that her mother had been depressed for years and even suicidal at times long before Laura revealed the abuse to her. As a psychiatric practitioner of 44 years, I found this book incredibly thorough in addressing how suicide impacts so many people in so many ways. The flow of the book was a little “choppy” at times but overall, very powerful and written well. Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishers for the Advanced Reader Copy. Warning: this book addresses suicide and sexual abuse.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Maria Menozzi

    This memoir is a long essay rather than a well thought-out re-telling of a fraught event and its unrelenting effects. Towards the end of the book, one of the author's sons asks her why she's not angry and I felt the same way. The author doesn't really explore the stages of grief associated with a suicide. Because she feels somehow to blame, she stays at the level of self-pity and self-indulgence rather than dealing with the myriad complexities not just of a family member deciding to take their l This memoir is a long essay rather than a well thought-out re-telling of a fraught event and its unrelenting effects. Towards the end of the book, one of the author's sons asks her why she's not angry and I felt the same way. The author doesn't really explore the stages of grief associated with a suicide. Because she feels somehow to blame, she stays at the level of self-pity and self-indulgence rather than dealing with the myriad complexities not just of a family member deciding to take their life, suddenly and inexplicably, which is how suicide happens; but, also, the horrible sexual abuse she endured from her stepfather. Why doesn't the author explore her anger, with her mother, her abuser, with family members who blame her? This is an unfinished memoir. It is alot of meandering about her thoughts and how she kept herself from taking her own life but also research about suicides which is unnecessary. This should have been a book about the author empowering herself to stop the blame and confront family members who were avoidant, dismissive and altogether discompassionate, including her mother, about her abuse. Her father is a nonexistent character in the picture until the end of the book and then only several pages in which she lets him get away with not talking about it. What a coward. I found myself feeling anger for the author, for her children, and for the parent who she somehow released of blame and revered even in her death.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Note: there are no spoilers in this review as all information is provided in the publicity material. Laura Trujillo writes a brave, gut-wrenching examination of her mother's suicide. She had an extraordinary relationship with her mother, one they both held most dear. Despite their closeness, each still kept secrets from the other. The time came when Laura shared her secret of childhood sexual abuse, news which devasted her mother. Trying to understand her mother's suicide sent Laura into a deep d Note: there are no spoilers in this review as all information is provided in the publicity material. Laura Trujillo writes a brave, gut-wrenching examination of her mother's suicide. She had an extraordinary relationship with her mother, one they both held most dear. Despite their closeness, each still kept secrets from the other. The time came when Laura shared her secret of childhood sexual abuse, news which devasted her mother. Trying to understand her mother's suicide sent Laura into a deep depression and almost brought her to the edge herself. She learned her mother hid her own depression well, and through therapy came to recognize some of the signs that as a child, she had no understanding of. The author, a journalist, also reviews how suicides have been covered in the media through the years. A tragic and haunting book, written with pain, honesty, and immense love! My gratitude to Random House who permitted me to access an e-arc of the book via NetGalley. The book is scheduled for publication 4/19/22. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and are freely given.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    A moving memoir about grief and recovery. Trujillo's mother died by suicide, jumping into the Grand Canyon after her daughter shares a secret: she was sexually abused for years by her stepfather. The feelings of remorse and confusion that follow a beloved parent's suicide are only magnified for Trujillo, who's haunted by what-ifs and wonders if she should have stayed silent about the rape, a trauma she kept to herself for decades. Trujillo, an newspaper editor, goes through her own suicidal thoug A moving memoir about grief and recovery. Trujillo's mother died by suicide, jumping into the Grand Canyon after her daughter shares a secret: she was sexually abused for years by her stepfather. The feelings of remorse and confusion that follow a beloved parent's suicide are only magnified for Trujillo, who's haunted by what-ifs and wonders if she should have stayed silent about the rape, a trauma she kept to herself for decades. Trujillo, an newspaper editor, goes through her own suicidal thoughts but ultimately comes out on the other side of severe depression. As a fellow journalist, I appreciated some of the thoughtful detours in this book. Trujillo discusses how reporting on suicide has changed over the years, and how it still has further to go.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Well-written and well-reached book about a young woman ( married with 4 children ) attempting to understand her mothers suicide. The story was pertinent to me because I live in the areas of Arizona she talks specifically about, and I have climbed the Grand Canyon twice and visited several other times. So I related to the placing of the story. The author is a professional journalist, which is apparent I reading the book ( its well constructed). The one negative was that there was a lot about suicid Well-written and well-reached book about a young woman ( married with 4 children ) attempting to understand her mothers suicide. The story was pertinent to me because I live in the areas of Arizona she talks specifically about, and I have climbed the Grand Canyon twice and visited several other times. So I related to the placing of the story. The author is a professional journalist, which is apparent I reading the book ( its well constructed). The one negative was that there was a lot about suicide statistics and related elements, but perhaps that interested me less than others drawn to the book because I am fortunate to not have any touchpoint to suicide. Good read, a good investment of time. I read this through Netgalley.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Drea

    Beautifully-written, heartbreaking memoir about the author’s mother and the aftermath of a traumatic life event. The author opens her wound - brutally and without flinching - recounting “signs” and regrets and family dynamics and trauma and familial mental illness that contributed to the way in which the author has lived her life. While I finished the book just now, I’m left with wanting more information about a couple of events that the author only touched upon. Since it is a memoir, this is th Beautifully-written, heartbreaking memoir about the author’s mother and the aftermath of a traumatic life event. The author opens her wound - brutally and without flinching - recounting “signs” and regrets and family dynamics and trauma and familial mental illness that contributed to the way in which the author has lived her life. While I finished the book just now, I’m left with wanting more information about a couple of events that the author only touched upon. Since it is a memoir, this is the author’s prerogative and one I support and understand. An important book and one I’m so grateful to have been given the opportunity to do read by Random House. I’m grateful.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Korzenik

    This is a stunning and beautifully written book. We toss around words like "courage" and 'bravery" far too casually when describing authors, but it Trujillo deserves those adjectives for her openness about truly difficult issues: suicide, depression, sexual assault. This is not the type of book I would typically pick up, but I'm glad I did. For me, it was a deep dive into the human condition. For people who have been directly touched by some of these issues, I think this work would offer healing This is a stunning and beautifully written book. We toss around words like "courage" and 'bravery" far too casually when describing authors, but it Trujillo deserves those adjectives for her openness about truly difficult issues: suicide, depression, sexual assault. This is not the type of book I would typically pick up, but I'm glad I did. For me, it was a deep dive into the human condition. For people who have been directly touched by some of these issues, I think this work would offer healing and support.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    The subject matter of this book is painful to read. Laura has been through so much. But her tremendous respect for her reader comes through in her honesty, vulnerability and clear, beautiful writing, and at some point I realized she was actually helping me through it. By the end, amazingly, I was uplifted.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    A difficult memoir, the primary themes of sexual abuse, suicide, and depression. Heavy. I think also very hopeful of how to go on in your life, to show up for your family and yourself. Unfortunately, her mother dies in the Grand Canyon. One of the most gorgeous awe inspiring places I have ever been. It's vastness, loneliness I can't imagine how that must have been for author. A difficult memoir, the primary themes of sexual abuse, suicide, and depression. Heavy. I think also very hopeful of how to go on in your life, to show up for your family and yourself. Unfortunately, her mother dies in the Grand Canyon. One of the most gorgeous awe inspiring places I have ever been. It's vastness, loneliness I can't imagine how that must have been for author.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sheila

    I received an ARC of, Stepping Back from the Ledge, by Laura Trujillo. This was a very interesting book. The bond between mothers and daughters can be intense. Laura's story is no different. Secrets, abuse, and suicide, are talked about in this story. I received an ARC of, Stepping Back from the Ledge, by Laura Trujillo. This was a very interesting book. The bond between mothers and daughters can be intense. Laura's story is no different. Secrets, abuse, and suicide, are talked about in this story.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Laura Valenziano

    A heartbreaking book about the author's mother's suicide and the effects on her daughter. Many insights into human nature and the lingering questions a family has after a suicide. A heartbreaking book about the author's mother's suicide and the effects on her daughter. Many insights into human nature and the lingering questions a family has after a suicide.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kayo

    Heartbreaking and raw.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    What a tragedy in so many ways. Trujillo writes with so much love and compassion for her mother, who was not considerate of her daughter.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rae Simpson

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Minuteman. Skimmed. Memoir. Mother committed suicide, she almost did.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Esme

    I am hopelessly drawn to memoirs that describe what others went through when their family member died by suicide. The aftermath seems almost universal -- or perhaps in those of us who are inclined to write about it. It draws a sympathetic recognition in me.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Boquet

    3.5 This was a quick, compelling read, with a massive content warning, re: suicide. The author is a journalist and the book has the pacing of book-length literary journalism.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ava Meyer

  24. 4 out of 5

    PatriciaHeil

  25. 5 out of 5

    PG

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nikole Taylor

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kelli

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne Stanton

  29. 4 out of 5

    conni r. schmidt

  30. 4 out of 5

    Eee

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...