For readers of Alan Cumming's Not My Father's Son comes a heart-wrenching memoir that interrogates an abusive father and his dark legacy.
Children who experience physical, mental, and emotional trauma at the hands of a parent often grow into adults who suffer from mental illness and find it difficult to build lasting, healthy relationships. Some find it impossible to integrate into society and are constantly searching for the love and approval that they never received as a child. The abuse impacts all aspects of the survivor's life.
In his new memoir, Brent LaPorte asks his dead father questions that will never be answered. Unatoned not only explores the dark nature of LaPorte's father, but the darkness that has, at times, enveloped him, too. In confronting life choices that have hurt those around him, he asks: is it possible to break the cycle of a violent, alcoholic family history and live a life that is productive, loving and, above all, happy?
In exploring the challenges of his youth, married life, and careers, LaPorte lays bare failings and triumphs, sharing pain and struggle to ultimately tell readers: none of us are alone. This is not a "self-help" book, rather the story of a man's request for atonement for sins past. His father's - and his own.
Fishing for barracuda from a kayak in the Florida Keys. That's what Jim Webb thinks this resort vacation with his grandfather should be about. Except the dying resort owner holds the key to legend about a generations-old crime. A crime that is worth way too much to those who want the legend to be true. Webb soon discovers that what lurks in the sun, sand and shallow waters of the Keys is much more dangerous than a slashing game fish. And along the way, he learns an important truth about himself and his own past.
In this exciting prequel to Devil's Pass and Tin Soldier, the musically gifted and tenacious Webb finds himself caught in a dangerous mystery.
It really seems like Dani's dad has gone around the bend. Ever since Dani's mother died of cancer, all her dad does is stand around on street corners with his crazy signs, proclaiming that processed foods mean the end of the world. The Food Freak, as he is known, has already scared away all of Dani's friends at her old school. But it's a new year, and Dani is at a new school in a different part of town. Maybe things will be better now. Dani just needs to keep her head down and avoid making any friends. That way, nobody will find out about her dad and his insane protests. The plan seems to be working fine until one day Dani meets a boy who helps her see things in a different light.
When Ally's mom dies, Ally is left with no family, no friends and no future. Put into foster care at the age of fifteen, she has less than $200 to her name and nothing left to lose. When Ally meets Tate, a busking fire breather, she starts to see a new life for herself as a street performer. Ally decides to run away from her foster home, but her problems follow her. Hiding her age, sleeping on the streets and avoiding fights with other buskers, Ally discovers that there's more to life as a fire-breathing busker than not getting burned.
Shaw Sebring is sixteen and trying desperately to understand and accept his father's recent suicide. Moving with his mother halfway across the county in an effort to distance themselves from the awful truth, Shaw lands in a new school and finds that the ghost of his father, a best-selling author, has followed him. Determined that he will not follow in his father's footsteps Shaw tries to chart his own course, until circumstances force him to accept that where--and who--we come from have an impact on what we become.
Fiona's life changed forever when her mother died in a South Pacific sailing accident. One year later, everyone tells her it is time to move on. To Fiona, moving on means leaving her mother behind-something she has vowed never to do. But Fiona's father has started dating again. His new girlfriend, Kathy, is a professional psychic who claims she can predict the future and communicate with the dead. Fiona is sure she is a fraud, although she secretly longs for her abilities to be genuine. With the reluctant support of her best friend Abby, Fiona sets out to put an end to her father's new relationship by trying to prove, with decidedly mixed results, that Kathy is a liar.
When Josh's mother dies in a phobia-induced car crash, she leaves two questions for her grieving family: how did a snake get into her car and how do you mourn with no faith to guide you?
Twelve-year-old Josh is left alone to find the answers. His father is building a time machine. His four-year-old brother's closest friend is a plastic Power Ranger. His psychiatrist offers nothing more than a blank journal and platitudes.
Isolated by grief in a home where every day is pajama day, Josh makes death his research project. He tests the mourning practices of religions he doesn't believe in. He tries to mend his little brother's shattered heart. He observes, records and waits-for his life to feel normal, for his mother's death to make sense, for his father to come out of the basement.
His observations, recorded in a series of journal entries, are funny, smart, insightful-and heartbreaking. His conclusions about the nature of love, loss, grief and the space-time continuum are nothing less than life-changing.
More than anything, twelve-year-old Max wants to play hockey like he used to. But since the death of his dad, his mom does more crying than mothering, and Max has to take his special-needs brother, Duncan, with him everywhere he goes. The team needs Max to win the upcoming game against the Red Eagles, but one practice with Duncan makes it evident that it's not safe to leave him unattended on the sidelines. With only a week to figure out how he can play in the big game, Max is feeling the pressure. Will he find a way to be a good teammate, a good brother and a good son, or is it too much for one kid?
As much as life has irrevocably changed since the death of his father, much has stayed the same for Cam. He's always had a great deal of responsibility around the house, but the burden is heavier now in combination with the load of grief he's been carrying. After the man who was driving the truck that killed his father turns up at the end of the driveway, Cam feels pressure to keep his family safe as well. He starts to see the man everywhere: at his work, in stores, at his sister's school. Cam needs to know what the man wants from his family, and he starts following his father's killer in search of answers.
An unprecedented series of hurricanes has swollen the Mississippi River to unheard-of levels and is threatening to put New Orleans and most of the low-lying areas of the South under water. Fifteen-year-old Stephen is spending the summer with his father near a small town north of Lake Pontchartrain when another powerful hurricane arrives and the levees on the Mississippi River completely fail. In the anarchy and chaos that results, Stephen's father is killed, and the boy is left to fend for himself. Stephen soon encounters Angela, a college student whose parents have also been killed. Navigating the labyrinth of flooded fields and towns in an airboat, the two set out in search of Stephen's mother and higher ground.
Mealworms are small creatures that live in dark secret places. Jeremy is a bit like that when he leaves his home in rural Nova Scotia and moves to Toronto with his mother. Lots of things keep him from enjoying his new life, but the worst is his science partner, Aaron, who is more annoying than sand in a bathing suit. Jeremy is also burdened by the secret he carries about the motorcycle accident that injured him and killed his father. Although Jeremy is haunted by his past, he starts to feel at home in Toronto when he realizes he has some skills he can share with his classmates. And when his mealworm project yields some surprising results, Jeremy is finally able to talk about his part in the fatal accident.
When her mother died two years earlier, Izzy thought the world would change in some identifiable way, but it didn't. It didn't even slow down. Along with constantly watching her brother, Jason, to ensure he didn't repeat his involvement with drugs, Izzy has managed to get through school and the rest of her life using her mother's endless "rules" as guidance, even making up some of her own as she goes along. When her father starts dating again and then decides to get married, Izzy is unprepared. She is convinced she will hate this intruder in her ordered life and is certain that their family is complete as it is. When her father's new girlfriend becomes pregnant, and her health is threatened, Izzy finds that there might just be room in her family for Anne. And while trying to save her brother and stay true to the "rules," Izzy realizes that family involves more than blood and that rules aren't always absolute. A touching, often funny, story of love and acceptance, Rules for Life is a reminder that while we can't choose the family we are born with, we can choose the people we take along for the ride.
Fourteen year old Pamela Collins is struggling to come to terms with her mother's death. Somewhat shy, Pamela is thoughtful, full of passion, often funny and sometimes tearful as she learns to cope with the emotional overload the tragedy has brought to her life. Her favourite things include walking alone in Lynn Canyon Park, the art of Emily Carr, and a certain boy with a "wicked grin." At the moment she dislikes her English teacher, shopping and being singled out for special treatment because of her motherís death. Pamela is tall and slim and mostly uncomfortable with her rapidly changing body. She is unsure of herself and unsure of the loyalty of her friends.
When Charlie Sykes wakes up in hospital in St. John's, he learns that he and his father have been in a car accident and that his father is dying. Charlie inherits little more than the brass key that his father pressed into his hand before he passed away. As far as Charlie knows, he has no family in Newfoundland. But then Uncle Nick shows up and is keen to meet his nephew-not because of who Charlie is, but rather because of what Charlie has: the key.
That key will unlock a treasure Uncle Nick began searching for more than thirty years earlier. And he would have found it all those years ago if he hadn't been arrested and sent away for murder. But Charlie isn't convinced he should give up the key. He leads Uncle Nick on a wild chase through old St. John's, across Signal Hill and out to the coast. There, high above the rugged Atlantic, Charlie finally comes face-to-face with Uncle Nick, the treasure, and a family history that will leave him with a new understanding of where he comes from and where he's going.
Jenna Cooper was only a few days old when her father was murdered and her family was shattered. Now fifteen, she daydreams of a picture-perfect sitcom family as she struggles with the gritty realities of her life. When Jenna finds out that Travis Bingham, the man who shot her father, has been released from prison, she becomes obsessed with tracking him down and confronting him. But her search reveals that there may be more to her father's murder than she has been led to believe—and will her relationships with her family and friends survive her obsession?
The year is 1935 and Maggie Sullivan's world has fallen apart. Maggie has grown up in a close-knit mining community perched atop a mountain in British Columbia. But now her father has been killed in a mine explosion and she is being forced to leave the only home she has ever known. To make matters worse, she must also leave behind her best friend Lucky, the three-legged dog that was a special gift from Pa.
Sixteen-year-old Kat and her mom haven't seen much of each other since Kat's father died last year. Her mom has taken over the family trucking business and has been away a lot. She promised that Kat could join her on her next run, a journey across the frozen Manitoba lake known as the "winter road." But at the last minute she changes her mind. Kat, who has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, stows away in the back of the semi instead. By the time her mother discovers her, it's too late to turn back.
Fourteen-year-old Rose is sure she's going to become a folk-music sensation, with her best friend, Shilo, at her side. But first she needs to convince her mom to keep paying for her expensive violin lessons. Her mom wants her to join the youth symphony and focus on classical music, in preparation for a music degree at university. When Rose enters a fiddle competition with a unique prize for the winner, she hopes to show her mom she can really can make it as a folk musician.