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The kids are all right : a memoir
Diana Welch and Liz Welch and Amanda Welch and Dan Welch
Adult Nonfiction CT274.W436 W45 2009

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In a memoir rendered eerily dry and scattered by emotional distance, the four Welch children, orphaned in their youth in the mid-1980s, recount by turns their memories and impressions of that painful time. Growing up in an affluent community of Bedford, N.Y., to a glamorous mother and a handsome father who was the head of an oil company, the children-Amanda (born in 1965), Liz (1969), Dan (1971) and Diana (1977)-were devastated first by the sudden death of their father in a car accident in 1983, followed by their mother three and a half years later after a long, wrenching bout with cancer. The two eldest girls, teenagers at the time and initiated into the drug and rock and roll scene, remember most vividly the details of that era when their mother, already diagnosed with uterine cancer, discovered that their father left a large debt; the family had to consolidate by selling their big house and their horses. After their mother died, the children were put in the care of others, mostly with disastrous consequences, especially for Diana, farmed out to a controlling neighbor family who initially hoped to adopt her, but decide otherwise after she hit her awkward teens. Each struggled to forge an identity within harrowing circumstances, with numbing results. Dan became a troublemaker and bounced out of boarding school, while Amanda, heavily into drugs, dropped out of NYU, and Liz traveled to get out of the house. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

When the loss of their charming, take-charge father in 1983 plunged the Welch family into debt, their flighty actress mom had trouble coping, and the four children-Amanda, Liz, Dan, and Diana-were separated after she died from breast cancer without making clear provisions for their care. In this collaborative memoir, the orphaned siblings take turns describing the dissolution of their once-happy family in clear, matter-of-fact prose; these shifting viewpoints illustrate the vagaries of memory. That the Welches are ultimately triumphant is a testament to the strong bonds of love and family. An exhilarating and uplifting, but never sappy, family saga. Readalike: Elyse Schein and Paula Bernstein's Identical Strangers.-Lauren Gilbert, Cold Spring Harbor Library and Environmental Center, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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