The Hope in Leaving: A Memoir
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  • 9781609806729

The Hope in Leaving: A Memoir

Barbara Williams

On the day she is leaving town to escape her troubled family and to start over at twenty-four--she finds a note on her mother's door. Her brother has shot himself. In stories that face reality so squarely they express what usually goes unsaid—from exhilaration to despair—Barbara Williams remembers her childhood leading up to this moment. Her father is a logger, nomad, and born dreamer. Her mother has too many kids and never enough money to support or protect them. The family keeps on the move, shedding a grand total of twenty-seven homes.

Williams remembers having one hope as a child, "the hope in leaving and doing better next time." But poverty, mental illness, substances abuse, and injustice pursued them wherever they went. They lived smalltown life hard and suffered, most of all her brother—the fearless star of their childhood adventures and misadventures. Williams writes, "We grew up like wild animals with the wrong set of instincts for our environment." It might be said it's a miracle she survived to bring us these stories. In doing so, Williams proves there is one thing that can survive the worst of life and even death: love without judgment.

About Barbara Williams

Barbara Williams is a Canadian musician and actress. Early in her career, Williams starred in the films Thief of Hearts and City of Hope. She won a Canadian Emmy Award for Best Actress for the telepic Mother Trucker. She was a member of the Resident Theatre Company in Vancouver, and among her more than thirty stage roles, she portrayed Amelia Earhart in the musical Amelia at Canada's National Arts Centre, Joan Baez at the Met Theatre in Los Angeles, and Lady Macbeth at the La Jolla Playhouse under the direction of Tony Award winner Des McAnuff. As a musician she has performed in the United States and Canada, often in concerts devoted to peace, workers' rights, and the environment. The Hope in Leaving is her first book. She lives and works in Los Angeles with her husband Tom Hayden and their son Liam.

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