Hamill’s honesty in questioning past choices and their consequences as well as his slow realization that he’s gay will emotionally engage readers as, telling unvarnished truths about his family, he provides a unique look into a world unknown to most of us. Recommend this memoir to fans of Wild Game (2019) by Adrienne Brodeur and A Forever Family (2018) by Rob Scheer.
As with many gay men before him, Hamill’s axis of identity/sexuality hinges on his relationship with his mother. And, whoa, did Wendy Hamill ever deliver as an archetype: a beacon of distant fabulosity coupled with deft microaggression. As written here, Wendy (who died surrounded by her sons) deserves placement in the gay canon ... Hamill’s memoir is about survival — and recovery: of his identity, memories and compassion for his mother ... These pages are steeped in gin. The collateral damage of a home with an alcoholic parent floats to the top.
The author of this book, seemingly embarrassed by his social register status nonetheless uses it as a trump card to try to fit in and gain friends. To compound matters, the question of his sexual identity is confused, unresolved, and isolating. A true story that money and privilege is not a paved road to happiness, but can be a lonely and sterile existence.
A vivid and compelling portrait of a dysfunctional family ... the author explores in visceral detail how children of addicted caregivers struggle to construct meaning, establish their own identities, and simply survive while living in the wake of a family illness. Hamill is a gifted storyteller, crafting scenes and dialogue that read like a riveting novel. There are casualties in this tale, both real and figurative, but there are also many triumphs ... Though Hamill is unflinchingly honest about the flaws of all of the characters in the story (including himself), by the end, readers will have at least some affection for each one. The author absorbingly narrates a complicated story fraught with betrayal, abandonment, and grief, and he shows us—via his own recovery—that beauty, pain, and love can all coexist in the same space ... A stunning, deeply satisfying story about how we outlive our upbringings.