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It Hit Me Like Ton Of Bricks [Paperback]

Catherine L Burns

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Book Description

May 10 2007
Life is a series of losses. I’ve decided to be very Zen about it. I have lost two husbands, my parents, my brother, countless friends; it is just one loss after another. You might as well get used to it.” So muses the author’s mother in this poignant and humorous memoir about mothers and daughters.
Loss is a way of life for both Catherine and her mother. But where it made the daughter ravenous for contact, it made the mother lose her appetite for people. While the two always had a fierce attachment, by turns intimate and tumultuous, decades of fractious and contentious and frustrating interactions found a reprieve after the birth of Catherine’s daughter, Olive. Witty and direct, weaving back and forth in time, the book charts the transformation of this volatile and unique mother-daughter relationship from longing to connection.
A book about love, mortality, and the nature of family bonds, It Hit Me Like a Ton of Bricks is a must-read for anyone trying to navigate their way through the distance between their fantasies of love and the realities of family relationships.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Fsg Adult (May 10 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865477434
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865477438
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 12.9 x 1.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,740,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Actress Burns, who has appeared on E.R. and Law and Order, has written a funny, touching mother and daughter memoir. Born in 1961 and nine when her father died, Burns felt she got no sympathy from her mother, who worried that her daughter would use people's pity to become manipulative. Besides, her mother said, "where is it written you have to be happy." As a teen, Burns suspected her mother was trying to get rid of her—shipping her off to live with older step-siblings, sending her to boarding school—so she could have fun with her male friends. Surviving drugs, sex and suicidal behavior, Burns went to college, started an acting career, married, had a child, divorced and discovered her mother again. The full circle of the maternal bond is what makes this memoir satisfying; readers see the daughter who schemed to get the attention of the mother whom she believed was self-centered become a mother herself and confront her own daughter's control ploys. When Burns tells her mom what readers have long suspected—that her mother is her best friend—her mother decides she herself is "finished being crazy" and they're both, finally, able to relax together. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Burns recounts with gut-twisting authenticity the love-hate relationship she had with her mother. First widowed at 28 with two children and a mortgage, and so broke she had to take in boarders, Mom was fortysomething when she lost her second husband, a show-biz exec; their child, Catherine, was 10. What followed is rather the stuff of Mommie Dearest as the smart, driven, resourceful woman sans college degree became a college professor and head of an academic department, and little Cathy was shunted between twentysomething pothead half sibs and a nanny. Surrounded by drugs and alcohol early on, Cathy developed a serious cocaine habit, repeatedly tried rehab, and eventually traded coke for bulimia. The tone of the writing brightens for her recovery, progress toward a successful acting career that, with its attendant money and celebrity, finally got her mother's approval. The child of Cathy's second marriage proved the hinge on which relations with her mother changed into a powerful bond. Whitney Scott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Hit me Like a Ton of Bricks Jan. 28 2007
By Tina - Published on
This is the author's first book and it is truly an amazing biography. In fact after reading it I purchased a copy for each of my (grown) daughters! It's an important book in that it depicts the tug and pull between mothers and daughters as they grow in their relationships with each other. It's real; it shows the pain and the worry and the acceptance of their quirks. I especially love their honesty of feelings even when things aren't "pretty".

It's a beautiful story; I hope the author continues to write. Her sensitivity and depth are striking.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected surprise Dec 20 2007
By T. Schlachter - Published on
I didn't know what to expect when I purchased this book... I liked the premise, I enjoy memoirs (especially of the mother/daughter variety) and the author seemed interesting.

I devoured it in about two sittings and highly recommend this book! Ms. Burns writes with such honesty, and her descriptions of emotions many times had me going back and re-reading certain lines thinking "Yes! That's exactly it!"

I'd love to read more from this gifted author... perhaps a follow-up to hear how her mother and daughter are doing these days...?
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect mother's day gift - and then some! June 19 2006
By SemiMental Fool - Published on
I gave this book to my mom for mother's day, and it was even better than expected. Burns is a WONDERFUL writer, with great images and a strong eye for detail, and the autobiography is powerful, heartwrenching and moving. Both Mom and I loved it -- and then we shared it with all 3 of Mom's sisters, who are also mothers, who then shared it with their children (also mothers). Not a bad review in the bunch. One of the best books I've read in a long time -- I've even considered writing directly to the author (like some crazed fan) to tell her to PLEASE write more books!
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars so honest, so funny, so....well, it hit me like a ton of bricks...... June 10 2006
By Kitteredge Woods - Published on
Catherine Burns is a terrific writer....I root for her in this memoir as I relate to her journey as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, and well, a female person struggling to love, and be loved....and ultimately accept herself as she attempts to win the acceptance of her mother. I never worry about this woman.....her honesty, and humor always keeps her from going under----she is too smart, witty, and observant to lose the game!!! a really fresh voice.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow. June 14 2007
By 4ever Broadway - Published on
Catherine Lloyd Burns is not only a phenomenal actress, but one of the best authors that I have ever read. This book was insightful, poignant, and honest. It makes you laugh, and then on the next page, you're bawling your eyes out. Her bluntly descriptive writing style sets a highly unusual but very interestingly unique tone to the book, which I, personally, love. She has since become one of my favorite artists in both of her fields, and anyone who has read and liked this should watch Everything Put Together with CLB and Megan Mullally who I also adore and who is friends with CLB via an episode of Ned & Stacey. It Hit Me...Bricks is outlined by Megan on her website which is phenomenal! <3

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