Emma Richler

Jemima Weiss grew up with a special feeling for British commandos, American westerns, the Knights of the Round Table, bagels with cheddar on top, and, above all else, her family. Now grown into a worldly yet deeply troubled woman, Jem revisits her formative years, even as she struggles not to let herself be engulfed by the present. In a voice crackling with humour and shot with straight talk, she recounts a childhood in a family so extraordinary that it has left her adrift in the adult world.

In seven episodes that elide to form a dense, rich impression of an unforgettable family, Jem candidly relates her mythological view of her parents – her gruff Jewish father, whom she saw as a gunslinging cowboy, and her prophetic, beautiful mother who, like a “good witch,” always knew what her children were thinking and feeling. Then there are her four siblings, chief among them a charismatic, adventurous brother who has remained Jem’s main object of affection, and her ethereal little sister, Harriet, who becomes a surprising source of comfort in Jem’s adult life.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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