The Hope in Leaving (Hardcover)
Seven Stories Press, 9781609806729, 240pp.
Publication Date: March 29, 2016
List Price: 23.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
Handsome Jack is a logger, nomad, and born dreamer. His young wife, Simone, has too many kids and never enough money to support or protect them. The family keeps on the move, shedding a grand total of twenty-seven homes. Their first child, Randy, is sensitive and brilliant and bold, protector of his younger siblings, the fearless star of their childhood adventures and misadventures--until something snaps inside him. The second child who comes a year after him, our narrator Barbara, is the lucky one, who can dream of getting out. Every time the family relocates, she feels "the hope in leaving and doing better next time." Poverty, mental illness, sexual abuse, and injustice pursue them wherever they go. They live small-town life hard and suffer, most of all Randy. The great surprise of The Hope in Leaving isn't that these characters descend increasingly into isolation and strife, but that despite this they remain a family, that there is always the spark of wit in their banter, and a kind of closeness no matter what happens, even a sense of normalcy. Gradually, the reader comes to understand why The Hope in Leaving is a book that had to be written. In it, Williams proves beyond doubt that there is one thing that can survive the worst of life and even death itself: love without judgment.
About the Author
BARBARA WILLIAMS is a Canadian musician and actress. Early in her career, Williams starred in the films Thief of Hearts and City of Hope. She won a Canadian Emmy Award for Best Actress for the telepic Mother Trucker. She was a member of the Resident Theatre Company in Vancouver, and among her more than thirty stage roles, she portrayed Amelia Earhart in the musical Amelia at Canada's National Arts Center, Joan Baez at the Met Theatre in Los Angeles, and Lady Macbeth in La Jolla, California, under Tony Award winner Des McAnuff's direction. As a musician she has performed in the United States and Canada, often in concerts devoted to peace, workers' rights, and the environment. The Hope in Leaving is her first book. She lives and works in Los Angeles with her husband, Tom Hayden, and her son, Liam.