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
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.
PRAISE FOR THE ORCHARD
An Oprah Magazine Fall Pick
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