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From Our House

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3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  104 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
While Lee Martin was still a baby, his father--once a robust, generous man--lost both hands in a farming accident. This candid memoir reveals how Lee grew up to know his father as a harsh, angry man, but underneath it all is the painfully deep, strong current of real love (Reeve Lindbergh, author of Under a Wing).
Paperback, 208 pages
Published June 1st 2001 by Plume (first published 2000)
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Richard Gilbert
May 19, 2014 Richard Gilbert rated it it was amazing
I have just finished reading this memoir for the third time and am embarked on my fourth. It concerns Lee Martin's growing up with a maimed, rageful farmer father and a meek schoolteacher mother who was helpless in the face of her husband’s abuse.

Written with great tenderness and love for both his parents, From Our House astonishes me with its graceful prose, its evocative scenes, its easygoing but compelling narrative force, its poignant story.

Martin is a master at slipping into the action hi
...more
Alison
Sep 13, 2012 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mfa, memoir
Having spent time with Lee recently at Vermont College of Fine Arts postgrad writing conference, I could hear his voice as I read his first memoir.
Ariana Pedigo
Jun 01, 2013 Ariana Pedigo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The courage it took to write this memoir, I cannot begin to imagine.
I met Mr. Lee Martin the first year I volunteered for the Southern Kentucky Book Fest, I was scared to death being surrounded by so many published authors and I was just beginning on that journey. I don't remember what I said first, though I do remember that I felt horribly nervous meeting a "published author"! But Mr. Lee Martin will make anyone feel incredibly special! He has a wonderful, funny sense of humor, and really makes
...more
Emily Rosenbaum
Jul 31, 2012 Emily Rosenbaum rated it really liked it
“What I wanted more than anything was for him to acknowledge his part in the mistakes we had made. Not once, after all the times he had whipped me, after all the screaming, cursing fights, had he told me he was sorry. Always, I was the one who eventually apologized for my behavior” (155). So Lee Martin writes about his father here in his memoir From Our House. The book is an honest yet oddly gentle uncovering of a childhood marked by violence and anger.
Martin’s father lost both his hands in a
...more
Catherine
Nov 17, 2007 Catherine rated it it was amazing
Lee Martin's father lost both of his arms in a farming accident the year that Lee was born. Martin delves into his relationship with both of his parents and his memoir reveals some interesting observations not only of his parents' behavior, particularly his father's rage, but his own as well. Although the subject matter was at times quite heavy, Martin shied away from being over-indulgent and stayed true to his voice in his prose.
Thomas DeWolf
Oct 25, 2014 Thomas DeWolf rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
"When my parents found out that my mother was pregnant with me, the first thing my father said to the doctor was, 'can you get rid of it?'"

That would be a difficult bit of knowledge to possess as a child. I liked this book, though I ache from the abuse of children.

"Time has a way of healing our wounds, or at least scabbing them over."

Yeah, scabbing them over is right because wounds are not healed by time.
Sarah
Mar 28, 2009 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
This is a well-written, touching account of the difficult relationship between a man and his father, whose longtime rage has driven a spike between then, and his mother, whose gentleness and optimism hold the family together. It's often a painful story, but Martin's skill at recreating the scenes of his childhood while reflecting on their larger meaning makes it an absorbing read.
Carrie
Jan 26, 2011 Carrie rated it liked it
Lee Martin writes his story of growing up in the late 50s-early 60s to parents much older. They live in farm country, Illinois and his dad well liked by everyone but his son losses both hands in a freak farm machinery accident. Okay/good read.
Dirk
Mar 19, 2008 Dirk rated it really liked it
this guy was my english/prose professor. i found a copy at goodwill. His dad lost his hands in a corn thrasher. sad stuff.
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Lee Martin is the author of the novels, The Bright Forever, a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction; River of Heaven; Quakertown; and Break the Skin. He has also published three memoirs, From Our House and Turning Bones, and Such a Life. His first book was the short story collection, The Least You Need To Know. He is the co-editor of Passing the Word: Writers on Their Mentors. His fictio ...more
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