By Rachel Sontag
(Ecco, Hardcover, 9780061341229, 288pp.)
Publication Date: April 1, 2008
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At an early age, Rachel Sontag realized there was something deeply wrong with her father. On the surface, he was a well-respected, suburban physician. But questioning his authority led to brutal fights; disobedience meant humiliating punishments. When she was twelve, he duct-taped her stereo dial to National Public Radio, measured the length of her hair and fingernails with a ruler, and regulated when she could shower.
A memoir of a father obsessed with control and the daughter who fights his suffocating grasp, House Rules explores the complexities of their compelling and destructive relationship, and his equally manipulative relationships with his wife and other daughter. As Rachel's mother cedes all her power to her husband, and her sister fades into the background of their family life, Rachel fights to escape, and, later, to make sense of what remains of her family.