Title: Storkbites: A Memoir
Author: Marie Etienne
Praise for Storkbites: A Memoir by Marie Etienne "Marie Etienne's story of growing up rich in Louisiana, one of 9 children who are each in some way scarred by the experience, leads readers on a harrowing tale of abuse of nearly every kind: physical, verbal, alcoholic, drugs, sexual excess - and above all a family legacy of secret insanity. Push/pull, give/take, love/hate, guilt/forgiveness, monetary generosity/emotional stinginess - these kids were jerked this way and that, and none emerged unscathed. Of the nine children, 2 died of either suicide or murder and the others continue, as adults, to struggle in their own ways with their violent heritage.
Etienne describes her own descent into alcoholism and promiscuity as a teenager and young adult, and she is horrified to find herself following her mother's physical abuse tactics with her own two young sons. We travel with Etienne on the path of healing as she sheds her addictions and discovers ways to forge a new future with her children, a future based on love and trust. Imminently readable and inspirational." ~ Peggy Vincent - author of Baby Catcher "A compelling memoir...Etienne's writing is fresh; her epiphany is clear, her ending powerful and satisfying." --San Francisco Chronicle Book Review, August 10, 2003 Storkbites is a complicated portrait of a family...The writing is vivid and honest." --Adair Lara, Hold Me Close, Let Me Go, August 15, 2003 In her memoir entitled Storkbites, Marie Etienne paints a powerful picture of her wealthy Louisiana family - a mother who bounces from sobriety to drunkenness, kindness to vicious cruelty, and an eccentric father who takes bizarre steps to protect his nine children from danger. Storkbites weaves two timelines -- one showing a childhood filled with abuse, insanity, and material excess, and the other, the adult trying to make her way in California as a new mom. Murder, suicide, promiscuity, and alcoholism overshadow Mardi Gras balls, Christmas celebrations, and a daughter's bittersweet coming-of-age. Vivid scenes depict Daddy, nightly, tucking his children into bed, and hours later, Momma waking them for a beating. After years of heavy drinking, Momma lies dying in ICU and pull-the-plug battles emerge among the seven surviving daughters. In the midst of a divorce, Marie sees her handprint on her son's back and vows stop the cycle of abuse-both as victim and perpetrator. Filled with hope, Storkbites shows the fierce love between siblings and the determination of one young mother desperate to escape her abusive past.
Growing up in a wealthy family, Marie Etienne and her eight siblings endured harsh abuse no child should ever have to deal with. Marie learns the hard way that abuse births abuse unless you break the cycle. When Marie starts seeing herself acting like her mother, she vows to change her life and her behavior. This is the story of one family’s dark secrets and a brave woman’s healing journey to break free from her abusive past.
Storkbites is a gut-wrenching beautifully written memoir. I connected with Marie right away. I know this was hard to write for Marie Etienne because each passage is so honest, so painful, so naked. The sheer pain splayed across the pages caused many tears to fall as I read Storkbites. Serious topics like abuse, family dynamics, suicide and murder are openly discussed, so please be aware if those are triggers for you. I applaud Marie Etienne for having the courage to write this book. I couldn’t put it down. If you’re a fan of Rebecca Wells, you will enjoy Storkbites. Highly recommend!
My Rating: 5 stars
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Marie Estorge is a member of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Her essays have appeared in numerous publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle, East Bay Times, and Diablo Magazine. She has published two memoirs, Storkbites: A Memoir and Confessions of a Bi-Polar Mardi Gras Queen, under the name Marie Etienne. Marie lives in Northern California with her two sons. When Marie is not writing or performing accounting for clients, she enjoys springboard diving, reading, movies, and art.
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N