In The News
Hot new books with Hollywood appeal. By Mia Galuppo
Agency: APA, Marsal Lyon
After escaping a Catholic cult and an abusive father, the author found herself living a full year in almost complete silence in a remote community in rural Canada. Like Boy Erased and Beautiful Boy, the memoir lends itself to feature adaptation.
Editorial written by Sandra Dallas
It seems that an awful lot of women who’ve experienced trauma growing up are writing memoirs these days. (Just think of the success of “Educated” by Tara Westover.) In “Wholly Unraveled,” Boulder author Keele Burgin reveals the terrors of a little girl under the control of a narcissistic father, whose brutal punishment and threats to kill her scar her for life. The book, with real names obscured and conversations recalled, reads like a novel.
To outward appearances, Kathleen has an ideal life. Her wealthy family lives in a Victorian house with a swimming pool and stable, and she is surrounded by sisters. In truth, her mother is distant, her father is a brute and a member of a religious cult that emphasizes women’s subservience. When Kathleen is raped, her parents pretend it never happened.
Little wonder that Kathleen spirals into booze and drugs until she reaches bottom and joins a religious commune in Canada to save herself.
The story is gripping, and Burgin is a good writer, but she leaves gaps that will disappoint readers, such as what happened to her family, particularly the little sister she tried to protect? “Wholly Unraveled” is a worthwhile read, but you can’t help hoping it had been a little more complete. Sandra Dallas is a Denver author. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Book It: The Five Best Literary Events This Week
Boulder author Keele Burgin brings her riveting new memoir, Wholly Unraveled, to BookBar for a reading and signing. It’s the raw, intimate story of Burgin’s abuse at the hands of her own family, a boyfriend that family adored, and the cruel cycle of self-destruction in which she found herself thereafter — that is, until she found a place of healing, both in the physical world and within herself. In this era of #MeToo, it’s exactly the sort of message readers might need: Your voice matters.