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Dancing with the Octopus
Dancing with the Octopus: A Memoir of a Crime | Debora Harding
9 posts | 5 read | 26 to read
For readers of Educated and The Glass Castle, a harrowing, redemptive and profoundly inspiring memoir of childhood trauma and its long reach into adulthood. One Omaha winter day in November 1978, when Debora Harding was just fourteen, she was abducted at knifepoint from a church parking lot. She was thrown into a van, assaulted, held for ransom, and then left to die as an ice storm descended over the city. Debora survived. She identified her attacker to the police and then returned to her teenage life in a dysfunctional home where she was expected to simply move on. Denial became the family coping strategy offered by her fun-loving, conflicted father and her cruelly resentful mother. It wasn't until decades later - when beset by the symptoms of PTSD- that Debora undertook a radical project: she met her childhood attacker face-to-face in prison and began to reconsider and reimagine his complex story. This was a quest for the truth that would threaten the lie at the heart of her family and with it the sacred bond that once saved her. Dexterously shifting between the past and present, Debora Harding untangles the incident of her kidnapping and escape from unexpected angles, offering a vivid, intimate portrait of one family's disintegration in the 1970s Midwest. Written with dark humor and the pacing of a thriller, Dancing with the Octopus is a literary tour de force and a groundbreaking narrative of reckoning, recovery, and the inexhaustible strength it takes to survive.
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MidnightBookGirl
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Pickpick

For fans of Educated and The Sound of Gravel. Trigger warnings galore though.
The author was kidnapped by a stranger at the age of 14, but survived. The book deals with fall out of that incident, but also her abusive mother and her father's commitment to his wife despite her behavior. I do not recommend the audio though, because the author's accent and cadence is weird af.
#Readin22 #Pantone22

jlhammar I thought this one was really good! Glad I went for print instead of audio. 7mo
60 likes1 stack add1 comment
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BkClubCare
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#TrueCrime on my tbr; this sounds entirely engrossing. #Scarathlon #PhotoChallenge

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squirrelbrain
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It took me a while to understand the style of this memoir. It seemed quite detached at first but I think that is part of the author‘s telling of her story.

It‘s a very brave book - the author talks about a violent attack she suffered as a teen, but more about her difficult relationship with her abusive mother. (TW)

Once I understood the early narrative device I was totally engrossed and desperate to keep reading to find out the ultimate outcome.

Megabooks You‘ve sold it to me!! 1y
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Mitch
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Thanks for the tag @Crazeedi and @wanderinglynn
1- Fav memoir - tagged
2- Hands down the fantasy queen is Robin Hobb!
3- so many......but recently I‘ve enjoyed Becky Cooper, Hallie Rubenhold and Rachel Holmes

#wonderouswednesday

catiewithac This is sooooo hard! I love bios/memoirs!!! 1y
AmyG Thanks Mitch. I just posted! 1y
See All 8 Comments
TrishB Definitely Robin Hobb ♥️ 1y
Eggs Thanks for the thoughtful responses 👏🏻✅📚 1y
wanderinglynn Robin Hobb! 🙌🏻 1y
iread2much Thanks so much for the tag! 1y
Crazeedi The tagged book sounds really good. I have to look for it 1y
46 likes8 comments
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Chelsea.Poole
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"A memoir of a crime", but also largely focused on the author's childhood, most especially her relationship with her mother and father. This is told in short chapters bouncing back and forth through time, in a way I found riveting. The author's ability to reflect upon her life many years after events that formed her is admirable. Highly recommended!

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Mitch
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Pickpick

Wow - this is a brave, creative memoir, paced like a thriller and deeply reflective & full of compassion, hope & tragedy To be able to dig into your own traumatic history (Harding is a surviver of abuse & violent crime) to find strength, courage & mental wellness & be able to assemble that story & share it with the world in such an engaging format is truly remarkable. I hope this books finds a wide audience - it has a lot to give the world...

Cathythoughts Great title 2y
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Mitch
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How to read when you have a puppy.... find a chew toy that is more tasty than your book!

Really enjoying this memoir- it‘s incredibly compulsive reading!

BookwormM Adorable 2y
LeahBergen That little face! 💙 2y
Mitch @LeahBergen he would so prefer me to be playing tug of war with sammy snake! 2y
See All 10 Comments
TrishB Aww 🐶♥️ 2y
Mrs_B He is just the cutest! 2y
squirrelbrain Such a cutie! 2y
Bookish_B Oh my gosh, that face!! 😍♥️ 2y
AlaMich Those eyes! How do you say no to those 👀?? 2y
Hooked_on_books Also wise to avoid squeaky toys. He is SO cute! 2y
83 likes10 comments
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Chelsea.Poole
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Long week = #bookandbath #nonfiction 🕯 🛁 📖
This book is exactly in my wheelhouse.

Cathythoughts Enjoy ❤️ 2y
67 likes4 stack adds1 comment
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Chelsea.Poole
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straight outta cataloging right into my lap! So excited for these two! I just want to drop everything and READ 📚 #tbr #nonfiction

62 likes1 stack add