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The Man Who Left by [Weir, Theresa]
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Length: 308 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Product Description

THE MAN WHO LEFT is a memoir about the importance of fathers. It's about the men who leave, and the men who stay.

It's a familiar story. Father leaves his wife and children and never looks back. Theresa Weir was five when her father left his family for a better life with a wealthy socialite. Many years passed with only occasional and grudging contact by Theresa's father. When Theresa married into a successful farm family, her father resurfaced, but she couldn't help but be suspicious of his awkward visits.

Years later, when the aging socialite dies and Theresa's father is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, people expect Theresa to move to Florida to care for him. A daughter's duty.

This is Theresa's personal story of a strained and painful father/daughter relationship.

What does a daughter owe the father who abandoned her?

From the editor:

THE MAN WHO LEFT could be considered a companion to the stunning memoir THE ORCHARD. But where THE ORCHARD is a dark fairy tale, THE MAN WHO LEFT is pure Middle American gothic, told in Theresa Weir's unadorned yet richly powerful and emotionally resonant style. A story about the burdens of remembering and the costs of forgetting, THE MAN WHO LEFT poignantly chronicles the emotional consequences of betrayal and abandonment by those who are supposed to love us the most.

From the book:
I doubt I’ll ever forgive him. It’s not in me to forgive him, but my own sense of humanity won’t let me ignore him and his plight. This would be easier if he were a stranger. Or, if I loved him. If he were a stranger, I could help him without having to listen to stories that pierce my heart, stories of a fabulous life that didn’t include his children. If I loved him, I would swoop him up and carry him off to live with me.
Through the wall, I hear him shift in his bed, and I hear the jingle of a dog collar, and I imagine the two Dalmatians curled beside him in the king-sized bed. The walls are pale blue, covered in framed Irene Spencer prints; soft images of mothers cuddling babies. Long white dressers with gold trim are strewn with Eve’s ornate perfume bottles and tiered glass shelves of jewelry. A floral spread covers my father in oblivion, his shape undefined and fragile. He doesn’t know it, but he is the man who broke us.

An Oprah Magazine Fall Pick
Featured Review in Entertainment Weekly
Number Two on October Indie Next List
BJ's Book Club Spotlight
LIbrarians' Best Books of 2011Maclean's Top Books of 2011
On Point (NPR) Best Books of 2011
Abrams Best of 2011
Publishers Lunch (Publishers Weekly) Favorite Books of 2011Best Nonfiction of 2011
One Book, One Community Read
Target Book Club Pick, September 2012

About the Author

Theresa Weir is an award-winning, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of twenty-five books and numerous short stories that have spanned the genres of suspense, mystery, thriller, romantic suspense, paranormal, and memoir. Her titles have been printed in both hardcover and paperback and translated into twenty languages. Her memoir, The Orchard, was a 2011 Oprah Magazine Fall Pick, Number Two on the Indie Next list, a featured B+ review in Entertainment Weekly, and a Librarians’ Best Books of 2011. Going back to 1988, Weir’s debut title was the cult phenomenon AMAZON LILY, initially published by Pocket Books and later reissued by Bantam Books. Writing as Theresa Weir she won a RITA for romantic suspense (COOL SHADE), and a year later the Daphne du Maurier for paranormal romance (BAD KARMA). In her more recent Anne Frasier career, her thriller and suspense titles hit the USA Today list (HUSH, SLEEP TIGHT, PLAY DEAD) and were featured in Mystery Guild, Literary Guild, and Book of the Month Club. HUSH was both a RITA and Daphne du Maurier finalist.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 537 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1475049404
  • Publisher: Belfry Press (Dec 3 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #108,797 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa55a1948) out of 5 stars 105 reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa55acb40) out of 5 stars A Great Read by a Great Writer! March 23 2012
By Wonder?Woman - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Man Who Left, the companion piece to Theresa Weir's memoir The Orchard, stands on its own as a brilliant and emotional read. There's no need to have already read The Orchard , though if you haven't you might want to treat yourself. In The Man Who Left, Weir delves once again into her harsh past with amazing insight and emotion. It seems odd to say that a book about child abuse, shattered families, and caring for a parent with Alzheimer's - the same parent who tore your world to shreds decades earlier - is inspiring, but the Man Who Left is not a tragic read. It is a perfect summation of the triumph of spirit and the power of good over evil. Theresa Weir has not only survived, but soars victoriously above the maddening crowd. I had hoped I would like this book as much as I loved The Orchard. I think I may love it even more. Reading it, I felt like I was living Theresa Weir's life along with her. And when she triumphed over evil, I felt like I had as well. That to me, the ability to share your heart and soul with the reader, is the mark of a great memoir.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa55acd8c) out of 5 stars It's not a work of fiction... March 23 2012
By J. A. Wilson - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
.... but you may wish it were. It is an exceptional work that carries a strong emotional punch.

The story is heart-breaking and Theresa's insights and prose drive it relentlessly toward its conclusion.

"The Orchard" was a great read--one of my favorites-- but "The Man who Left" is fantastic! I'm certainly looking forward to more.

Savannah, Georgia
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa55acfcc) out of 5 stars I love this book!!!! March 22 2012
By Deborah G. Lamb - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Everyone has a story but it's how you tell the story that sets you apart from everyone else. Theresa Weir has written an emotional story of growing up and the effects of her childhood that have stayed with her long after. She interweaves the present day story of her estranged Father and his battle with Alzheimer's disease and brings the two stories together beautifully. I read it in one day because I couldn't put it down. It is disturbing and graphic at times with raw honesty, but her storytelling is absolutely beautiful. A well written, engaging book that I would highly recommend!!

The companion book to "The Man Who Left" is "The Orchard" which is also a fantastic read. Two of her best books!!! I'm hoping she has a third in the works!!!

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa546d264) out of 5 stars An emotional read..... June 22 2012
By Paul La Rosa - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book, as everyone points out, is a companion piece to "The Orchard," a memoir about Theresa's marriage. I loved that book and thought it was the best thing I read in 2011. So I was quick to pick up this book which is about the author's earlier life. Again, I found it mesmerizing. I am fascinated by getting behind the doors of America's households and Theresa allows us in to her teenage life here (also, her later life, helping out her elderly father who abandoned the family.)

She writes with sympathy and understand about her father, a man she could easily despise for the way he ruined her early life but it's clear she feels a lot of the blame for him leaving has to do with her absolutely bonkers mother. When the young Theresa suggests her mother get medication to control her mental health, she receives the beating of her life. These days, the teachers at school would have removed her from that home but, then, they merely asked if she was doing okay.

She was not but somehow she made it through to write a slew of books and her personal stories. I'm a fan and her style of writing is exactly what I look for. Highly recommended.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa546d0fc) out of 5 stars Raw, Real, and Liberating May 9 2012
By LKRigel - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Theresa Weir can write.

Coleridge said, "I wish our clever young poets would remember my homely definitions of prose and poetry; that is prose; words in their best order;-poetry; the best words in the best order."

Quaint punctuation aside, this sentiment applies to Weir's work. It may be prose, but she chooses the best words and puts them in the best order. I forget I'm reading when I read her books. I get lost in the story, and that's true of her memoirs as well as her fiction.

The Man Who Left is a memoir about Alzheimer's, but don't look here for pity or schmaltzy sentiment for Weir's father, the man with the disease. Weir explores the excruciating tension between obligation to an ill parent and justifiable rage and resentment over his abandonment of his children when the obligation was on his side.

As with her companion book, The Orchard: A Memoir, Weir's memoir of her marriage, The Man Who Left reads like a novel. In both, her stark truth-telling is raw, real, and liberating.