A beautiful, vibrant memoir about growing up motherless in 1970s and 80s San Francisco with an openly gay father. After his wife dies in a car accident, bisexual writer and activist Steve Abbott moves with his two-year-old daughter to San Francisco. There they discover a city in the midst of revolution, bustling with gay men in search of liberation - few of whom are raising a child. Steve throws himself into San Francisco's vibrant cultural scene. He takes Alysia to raucous parties, pushes her in front of the microphone at poetry readings, and introduces her to a world of artists, thinkers, and writers. But the pair live like nomads, moving from apartment to apartment, with a revolving cast of roommates and little structure.
As a child Alysia views her father as a loving playmate who can transform the ordinary into magic, but as she gets older Alysia wants more than anything to fit in. The world, she learns, is hostile to difference. In Alysia's teens, Steve's friends - several of whom she has befriended - fall ill as AIDS starts its rampage through their community. While Alysia is studying in New York and then in France, her father tells her it's time to come home; he's sick with AIDS. Alysia must choose whether to take on the responsibility of caring for her father or continue the independent life she has worked so hard to create. Reconstructing their life together from a remarkable cache of her father's journals, letters, and writings, Alysia Abbott gives us an unforgettable portrait of a tumultuous, historic time in San Francisco as well as an exquisitely moving account of a father's legacy and a daughter's love.
©2013 Alysia Abbott (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
i love to listen!
Such a great life story also filled with actual historical events. Alysia's story has you from the beginning. I fell in love with her writing and narration. LOVE.
I was completely bowled over by this memoir. Alysia Abbott was brought up by her single, gay dad after her mother's death in a car crash when she was two. They lived in San Francisco during that city's bohemian heyday. Her father was a poet and artist who died of AIDS in the early 1990's, when Alysia was barely out of college. The book is stunningly honest and moving. While Abbott doesn't sugar coat her own embarrassment and discomfort with her father's sexuality and eventual illness, she writes about their intense and unusual bond with tremendous love and respect. I found the author's ability to avoid both judgment and sentimentality extremely impressive. Additionally, the book brings to life the late-hippie world of San Francisco poetry and alternative publishing circles and the ravages of the AIDS epidemic when an HIV-positive diagnosis was a death sentence. I don't cry easily, but the end of the book brought me to tears.
Abbott's narration is perfect.
I loved her cadence. She has a great voice.
This book had some interesting parts, but it seemed to drag on and on. I was disappointed. I really wanted to love it.
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