Now that you have a brief overview of the publishing process, you can understand why my own book, HOW TO HEAL, BECOMING A DOCTOR FOR ALL THE WRONG REASONS (AND FINDING MYSELF ANYWAY) is taking so long to see the light of day. I am querying agents and publishers, while continuing to learn what it takes to rise to the top of their attention. It is an up and down and uncertain journey, but I will keep travelling it. Meanwhile, I continue to read memoirs.

Review of When She Comes Back by Sandra Eliason

When She Comes Back by Ronit Plank asks how a daughter survives being abandoned by her mother, not once, but twice. How does she navigate the longing, the hope for a stable relationship? How does she behave to keep her mother from leaving again?

Who should read this book? Anyone who has had to navigate abandonment, who wonders about healing afterward or how a relationship will evolve with the abandoner.

Summary: Ronit’s life begins on a kibbutz in Israel, where her parents moved from New York as newlyweds. When the family moves to Seattle before Ronit is five and her father leaves them, her mother falls apart under the strain of poverty and unsupported single motherhood in unfamiliar surroundings–on a different continent. Her mother’s own need for healing from an abusive mother drives her to join an ashram in India led by Rajneeshpurnam. Ronit’s mother takes the kids to New York where she leaves them, ages 6 and 3, with their father. She is escaping to the ashram for the summer, she says. But she stays until Ronit’s grandmother is diagnosed with cancer and her mother returns from India to care for her own mother. The girls hope for permanent reunion, but after months of weekend visits, her mother disappears again, and Ronit’s father remains the girls’ main caretaker. How Ronit navigates her teenage years, separating from the wife-like role she had created with her father, as well as exploring the longing for her mother are themes in this vulnerable and haunting book.

Ronit and her mother eventually establish a relationship as adults, after Ronit marries and has children of her own. The understanding it takes to view her mother’s life from an adult perspective, the letting go of anger and grief, are the underpinning of her acceptance.

What other reviewers have to say on Amazon:

“This captivating memoir draws the readers into a world that most people couldn’t even imagine. When young Ronit’s mother left her family for “guru” Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, whose followers were later responsible for a major US terrorist attack, she was left without a stable family and had to navigate her emotional growth and her concept of motherhood without a guiding influence. The writing style of When She Comes Back draws readers in, and the compelling, raw story will leave you thinking about Ronit long after the book is done. A fascinating book.”

“Masterfully written, When She Comes Back is a heart wrenching testament to how much a little girl needs her mother.”

“This memoir is the story of two young girls whose mother has left them to follow a guru. The sisters wonder what drove their mother away and how they might draw her back. Despite the sadness inherent in this story, there is no finger-pointing, no admonishment. Instead, there is a child trying to make sense of her world. Ronit Plank tells her story with grace and charity and a quest for understanding.”

This book has a five star rating on Amazon, and I highly recommend it. Visit Ronit Plank’s website to order the book and more.

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