A Memoir of Resilience

Book - 2014
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At the age of three, Eileen Cronin first realized that only she did not have legs. Her boisterous Catholic family accepted her situation as "God's will," treating her no differently than her ten siblings, as she "squiddled" through their 1960s Cincinnati home. But starting school, even wearing prosthetics, Cronin had to brave bullying and embarrassing questions. Thanks to her older brother's coaching, she handled a classmate's playground taunts with a smack from her lunchbox. As a teen, thrilled when boys asked her out, she was confused about what sexuality meant for her. She felt most comfortable and happiest relaxing and skinny dipping with her girlfriends, imagining herself "an elusive mermaid." The cause of her disability remained taboo, however, even as she looked toward the future and the possibility of her own family.In later years, as her mother battled mental illness and denied having taken the drug thalidomide--known to cause birth defects--Cronin felt apart from her family. After the death of a close brother, she turned to alcohol. Eventually, however, she found the strength to set out on her own, volunteering at hospitals and earning a PhD in clinical psychology.Reflecting with humor and grace on her youth, search for love, and quest for answers, Cronin spins a shimmering story of self-discovery and transformation.
Publisher: New York :, W.W. Norton & Company,, [2014]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780393089011
Branch Call Number: 362.43092 C9475C
Characteristics: viii, 336 pages ; 25 cm


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ChristchurchLib Mar 17, 2014

"Born with legs that ended at her knees, author Eileen Cronin was one of 11 children in a boisterous family without quite enough parental attention to go around. Though her family didn't make her feel different, once she got to school she had to learn to stand up to bullies and deal with social alienation. Eventually, the stresses of being "disabled" made her turn to alcohol, and she spent years battling to recover from addiction." Biography and Memoir March 2014 newsletter

cgloden Mar 03, 2014

This is a really well written and honest look at a girl growing up without legs. The book explores the struggle with getting her mom to admit that she took a drug while she was in the womb that caused her legs to shrink up. She was born before prosthetics were what they are today and it made for some funny and interesting stories. Very brave, strong lady!!


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