Veronica's Grave: A Daughter's Memoir by Barbara Bracht DonskyVeronica's Grave: A Daughter's Memoir by Barbara Bracht Donsky

Veronica's Grave: A Daughter's Memoir

byBarbara Bracht Donsky

Paperback | May 10, 2016

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2017 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award: Silver for Memoir 2017 National Indie Excellence Awards: Finalist 2017 Independent Press Award: Distinguished Favorite for Memoir 2016 Beverly Hills Book Awards: Memoir Finalist 2016Readers' Favorite:Silver Medal for Non-fiction Memoir
When Barbara Bracht's mother disappears, she is left a confused child whose blue-collar father is intent upon erasing any memory of her mother. Forced to keep the secret of her mother's existence from her younger brother, Barbara struggles to keep from being crushed under the weight of family secrets as she comes of age and tries to educate herself, despite her father's stance against women's education. The story is not only of loss and resilience, but one showing the power of literature-fromLittle Orphan AnnietoPrince Valiantto the incomparableNancy Drew-to offer hope where there is little. Told with true literary sensibility, this captivating memoir asks us to consider what it is that parents owe their children, and how far a child need go to make things right for her family.

Barbara Bracht Donsky, a reading specialist with a former private practice for children in Oyster Bay, New York, served for many years as president and capital campaign coordinator of the Boys and Girls Club of Oyster Bay-East Norwich. A magna cum laude graduate of Hunter College, with an MS from C. W. Post, Long Island University and ...
Title:Veronica's Grave: A Daughter's MemoirFormat:PaperbackDimensions:338 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:May 10, 2016Publisher:She Writes PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1631520741

ISBN - 13:9781631520747


Editorial Reviews

Chosen as a NYPL Top Staff Picks for Summer 2017"A triumphant story of a woman coming to terms with the loss of her mother and an inspiring, though haunting, testament to the endurance of the human spirit."-Kirkus"Veronica's Grave is the compelling memoir of a woman coming to terms with the loss of her mother. In the process of discovering her mother, she ends up discovering herself . . . the author's narration is descriptive, drawing readers into her world, her emotional pain, and her angst. The pictures shared in the book help readers connect with the author, making her life more tangible to them . . . It's a good book for everyone, especially parents as it reminds them that they need to hear their children at any and every age."-Reader's Favorite "Veronica's Grave shows both the warmth of a loving family and the mistakes when secrets are kept. A compelling tale that gives wonderful insight to the readers."-Mary Higgins Clark, author of more than 50 best-selling novels, including All Around the Town, Loves Music, Loves to Dance, and While My Pretty One Sleeps"Veronica's Grave is worthwhile reading for any young woman who has had to struggle to assert herself against a patriarchaland traditionally religious upbringing. For sheer joy of spirit and joie de vivre, Barbara Donsky's memoir surpasses manyanother work of its like an experience that promises to be a rewarding read for mother and daughter alike, it fully deservesthe acclaim that it has so far achieved."-Book Pleasure Review, July 2016"Veronica's Grave: A Daughter's Memoir is a compelling account of how a young woman, confronted with the unexplained loss of her mother, relies on her own inner resources and determination to not only discover the family secret of who her mother was but, in the process, discovers her own self and her own unacknowledged potential."-Peter H. Kudler, M.D, Department of Psychiatry, NYU Langone Medical Center"Barbara Donsky captures the words and experiences of a small child and her evolution into adulthood better than any author Ihave read since Jeannette Walls published Glass Castle. Donsky's memoir, Veronica's Grave, is so beautifully written and rich with so much detail and so many metaphors (that actually work) that her experience, struggle with, and silent damage from familysecrets comes alive and rings true. Even better, she may be the first American woman whom I can imagine understands what Imean when I say I like myself better in France."-Roni Beth Tower, Ph.D., author of Miracle at Midlife:A Transatlantic Romance"The voice Barbara chose resonated with someone like myself who grew up at a similar time. It was a time that women withdreams and visions had to carve their own paths with few role models to lead the way. Your book evoked many memories ofdiscovering the world as a child, teenager, and a young adult."-Ruth Waldbaum, M.D., Diplomate Board of Adult and Adolescent Psychiatry, Distinguished Fellow AmericanPsychiatric Association"Readers who melt reading about the good old days will be charmed by the protagonist, a girl named after Saint Barbara, who can't shed her father's insistence on calling her Bob. We learn that for her those days were neither charming, nor good. From the moment we meet some of the quaintly named characters like Betty, Dot, or Agnes, we know we have time traveled to the fifties and sixties. The Bronx streets of her working class family-Decatur and Webster Avenues, the Third Avenue El-are forever beloved by Barbara even when she manages the extraordinary feat of escaping her mundane existence. If you remember Buster Browns, Betsy Wetsy, five cent cigars, Necco wafers, and Elsie the Borden cow, or Bendix washers, you will find yourself on a wonderful nostalgic ride. But Barbara's intelligence and persistence takes her on a journey far from her humble origins. You will cheer for her as she strolls confidently down Champs Elysees in her two piece jade green gabardine TWA uniform and later, as she dines on escargot at the romantic Le Coupe-Choux or sips a martini at the posh Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan."-Annette Libeskind Berkovits, author of In the Unlikeliest of Places: How Nachman Libeskind Survived the Nazis, Gulags, and Soviet Communism"Donsky's coming-of-age memoir is a vivid portrait of a remarkable life. It is a deft rendering that begins by inhabiting the shadows of a childhood lost, later illustrating a person becoming slowly visible to herself. The images and sounds of her New York neighborhoods-as well as the perfume-scented rues in the Paris she discovers as a young woman-are defining brushstrokes to complement and frame this remarkable story."-Rita Gardiner, author of award-winning memoir Coconut Latitudes: Secrets, Storms, and Survival in the Caribbean"Donsky gives voice to a three-year old barely verbal little girl who transitions into teenager and then young woman. Thevoice changes with great humor and craft as Veronica's Grave moves from the experiences of a mischievous, high-spirited youngster, to feisty and adventurous teenager, and then to a tenacious young woman. The evolution is skillfully laid out ina delicious and entertaining way capturing a time lost to many readers, an era before the feminist movement!"-Diana Y. Paul, author of Things Unsaid"Barbara Bracht Donsky has crafted a most poignant and important memoir, which tugs at the heart from the very first page. As the author grows from the child confused by the sudden loss of her mother to an inquisitive young adult, readers will be drawn to her strength and fierce determination not to have the secrets and mystery of her mother's death define the woman she eventually becomes." -Sande Boritz Berger, author of The Sweetness, Foreword Reviews Indie Fab Finalist"Told in an almost fiction way, with great dialogue. Some memoirs are very dry and boring, not so this one. I found myself remembering some of her references, especially the Nancy Drew ones. I myself loved Nancy Drew stories but in a different way, as reading was an escape for me from an abused childhood...This book is worth a read! I enjoyed it immensely!"-Celtic Woman Reviews"When an author chooses to tell stories drawn from childhood, one of the biggest challenges is to channel the voiceof a child in a way that sounds genuine to the reader. Donsky deftly carries the reader along through the troubledchildhood and adolescence of a motherless girl, expressing the ever-present longing for the one person she believeshas the ability to guide and protect her. Along the way, she weaves in references to popular culture that will make readerswho grew up in the same era smile with recognition. As an adult, finally out from under the control of her distantand withholding father, Donsky earns her wings-both literally and figuratively-as she begins to live her life theway she chooses."-Risa Nye, author of There Was a Fire Here: A Memoir"This is a story of triumph, of a determined young woman who, despite her father's protestations, breaks away from theblue-collar family that raised her under the weight of secrets, to get an education and see the world. The author's ability tochannel the thoughts and voice of a child and then those of an adolescent, teenager and young woman is brilliant. Thestories of the early years of commercial flight and the new career 'stewardess' were particularly fascinating. I especiallyenjoyed the story, having grown up in the New York City area, and I was able to put myself in so many of the locationsthe author described."-Marianne Canedo Bohr, author of Gap Year Girl:A Baby Boomer Adventure Across 21 Countries"..{A} poignant story."-New York Post"This was a well-penned, emotional tale of triumph. It will pull at your heartstrings and encourage you to take stock ofthe important things in life."-Nicole Waggoner, author of Center Ring: A Novel"This highly enjoyable book is a memoir that reads like a very good novel: one continually wants to find out what happensnext. It's difficult to find a book that is both delightful and serious, charming yet meaningful. Veronica's Grave is that book.It is chock full of right-on details that elicit fond recognition in the reader, and is written with wit yet with a palpable sadnessand mystery that is a thread throughout the entire book. A book from an intelligent mind, written with a lovely style,this book brings much reading pleasure."-Monica Starkman, M.D., author of The End of Miracles"When Barbara Bracht was three years old, her mother vanishes from her life. The secret-and the silence within thefamily about it-casts a long shadow over Donsky's life."-New York Magazine