Over the years, Joan Potter, a writing teacher, helped others record their memories, but had largely neglected her own. She arrived at the first gathering with a folder of stories she had written about her mother and a 20-year-old cassette tape on which her mother spoke frankly about her early life. Potter, who has two daughters and two sons, explores the secrets her mother kept, as well as her father’s suicide, with vivid language and heart-wrenching candor.
Vicki Addesso, a one-time student of Potter’s, joined the group shorly after having surgery and treament for breast cancer. In working on the book Addesso crystallized her memories of her mother, a loving woman who was often lonely despite raising four kids and taking care of her in-laws in the small home they shared in Eastchester. Through writing, “I found my way back to her,” Addesso says. Addesso has two boys.
While the exploration of the past is what drew me in to Still Here Thinking of You, it is the transforming nature of the narratives that inspires readers to flip the script and look at their own relationships with their children that ultimately marks this book as a winner, in my opinion.
Read an interview with the authors here.