American Daughter: A Memoir of Intergenerational Trauma, a Mother’s Dark Secrets, and a Daughter’s Quest for Redemption

March 12, 2020 - Comment

“American Daughter–in the tradition of classics like The Glass Castle, LA Diaries and White Oleander–explores in unsparing details the complex interplay between intimate family ties, generational abuse and cataclysmic losses.” – Gina Frangello, Author of ‘Every Kind of Wanting’ and ‘A Life in Men’ Editor of The Coachella Review For 50 years, Stephanie Thornton Plymale

“American Daughter–in the tradition of classics like The Glass Castle, LA Diaries and White Oleander–explores in unsparing details the complex interplay between intimate family ties, generational abuse and cataclysmic losses.” – Gina Frangello, Author of ‘Every Kind of Wanting’ and ‘A Life in Men’ Editor of The Coachella Review

For 50 years, Stephanie Thornton Plymale kept her past a fiercely guarded secret.

No one outside her immediate family would ever have guessed that her childhood was fraught with every imaginable hardship: a mentally ill mother who was in and out of jails and psych wards throughout Stephanie’s formative years, neglect, hunger, poverty, homelessness, truancy, foster homes, a harrowing lack of medical care, and ongoing sexual abuse.

Stephanie, in turn, knew very little about the past of her mother, from whom she remained estranged during most of her adult life. All this changed with a phone call that set a journey of discovery in motion, leading to a series of shocking revelations that forced Stephanie to revise the meaning of almost every aspect of her very compromised childhood.

American Daughter is at once the deeply moving memoir of a troubled mother-daughter relationship and a meditation on trauma, resilience, transcendence, and redemption. Stephanie’s story is unique but its messages are universal, offering insight into what it means to survive, to rise above, to heal, and to forgive.

Comments

Anonymous says:

Incredible! Definitely could become an Oscar-nominated film! Powerful, must read! This book was INCREDIBLE, I finished it in 2 days. Written in such a powerful, raw and emotional manner – it had me in tears followed by waves of inspiration, hope and so much empathy for this author. Page by page, you’re experiencing every emotion and so much pain for this author – one page I was crying, the next page I was angry, the next page left me with utter shock and disbelief. She has QUITE the story to share with the world and one that will hopefully leave the readers with the very…

Anonymous says:

Riveting and Inspirational The author’s tragic and staggeringly beautiful life story is told with dignity and grace. Her story is compelling, but more so is the outcome. Rising above all she endured, Plymale not only created a life of beauty for herself and her family, but she also brought healing to those who harmed her or weren’t there for her throughout her life. Her words in this book are a gift to those who are downtrodden and seek to rise above their circumstances. And they are a gift to those who have the means to…

Anonymous says:

A Must Read American Daughter is a raw and riveting story of hardship, injustice, and generational redemption. From the first till the last page I was captivated and spellbound and could not put the book down. The life-story of the author, Stephanie Thornton Plymale, is the story of America – the real and unvarnished America. A little girl who is the casualty of her mother’s trauma and yet refuses to succumb to be a victim herself. The author’s life allows us to see, as through a dark glass clearly,…

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