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Reversible Skirt

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  73 ratings  ·  20 reviews
When the mother of three little girls commits suicide, their father wants more than anything to keep his family together. He remarries in haste and tells his daughters his new wife is their mother. The youngest, Laura, believes her mother must have gone through a kind of magical transformation. Reversible Skirt is written from Laura's perspective as a child sifting through ...more
Paperback, 268 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Wordforest
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Readers are drawn in immediately by Laura's compelling child narrative, and care deeply about the three adorable little girls Kathy, Mary Ruth, and Laura shown on the debut book cover of "Reversible Skirt: A Memoir" authored by Laura McHale Holland.

In the 1950's, the three girls were very young children when their father quickly remarried after loosing their mother tragically to suicide. A chilling maternal narrative following early chapters suggests a troubled marriage and a wife/mother unloved
Arlene Miller
Jun 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful story, very touching. Beautifully written. I would definitely recommend this one!
Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Reversible Skirt
by Laura McHale Holland

Laura McHale Holland broaches the subject, suicide, which has long been a taboo subject in western society. The author tells the story of three little girls, herself one of them, coping with the big secret, their mother's suicide. Children back then were not supposed to remember, have feelings or understand. Armed with these presumptions and an iron will, Laura's stepmother runs her charges with cruel rules and chore
Ann Philipp
Jun 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Expertly written, a poignant and honest story of Laura, a young girl who manages to keep afloat in a world flooded with loss and abuse. Surrounded by lies and deceit, Laura's underlying strength acts like a lighthouse guiding her through a tumultuous childhood. Interspersed with sweet events that captivate and give us hope. A reminder of the resiliency of the human spirit.
David Richardson
Dec 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book for free from the Goodreads first-read giveaway. I thought this book was really depressing. I appreciate that the author had a bad childhood but I like books that make me feel happy. I have enough depression of my own.
Lynn Mccarthy
Jun 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was sad its not a feel good book.....
It is a childs story of abuse Laura with her sisters when her mum commits suicide and her dad remarries then her dad dies and they are left with there abusive stepmother ..... The author did a good job of seeing through her eyes ....
Janette Fuller
Aug 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir
Laura McHale Holland has written a poignant memoir about her childhood. "Reversible Skirt" tells the story of how Laura and her two sisters survived years of emotional and physical abuse after their mother committed suicide. This book is a heart-wrenching account of a family gone terribly wrong. The author is sharing her story with the hope that readers will be reminded of the depth and complexity of children. No matter how things appear to an outside observer, one never knows what the child is ...more
Nov 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
How do you cope with your mother's suicide? The author attempts to answer that question-or at least show how she dealt with the issue. When her mother commits suicide, Laura is left behind with her two sisters. When her father dies, Laura and her siblings are left with an abusive stepmother. The situation really couldn't get too much worse. The one redeeming quality of the whole situation is the way Laura and her sisters come together to form a cohesive unit.

The author's feelings in the book ar
Barbara Carter
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was pulled into the story immediately and wanted to keep reading. Amazed at her early memories,
and the vividness of her child's voice. Beginning the book, I was aware that both her parents had died, but I didn't know when. I believed the woman she called mommy to be her birth mother until I found out she was actually the step-mother. I liked how it came as a shock to me, as it would have been a shock to Laura at the time. I had read this book after reading Resilient Ruin. And not having read R
Dec 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was a touching story, that tore at my heart. First having to deal with her mother's suicide which this young girl tries to answer Why? Then her father remarries and tells his daughters that this woman is there mother. They know that she is not because she is distant and abusive, something their mother wasn't.
This is not a feel good, fuzzy, warm book. It is an honest look at abused children and what they endure. You will gain insight and compassion for those that have gone through it.
Elaine Webster
May 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Women's Memoir speaks to the heart and Reversible Skirt is no exception. Laura McHale Holland describes childhood experiences, that unfortunately too many share. However, there is hope in the pages of this book--good times as well as bad. And the sisters' bond is one to be envied. A beautiful read by a wonderful author. I highly recommend it.
Cristie Underwood
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
The author endures her mother's suicide along with her sisters and her father promises to keep his family together. He marries a woman that becomes increasingly abusive to Laura and her sisters. The girls do stick together and this memoir is written in a child's narrative of these events. This was a powerful read and stays with you long after you finish reading.
Shannon Baas
Mar 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I found this to be an interesting book, although rather sad. It involves Laura and her sisters. There mom committed suicide and their dad remarries. It then takes them through what they go through. I would definitley recommend it.
A story from a child's view of emotional abuse and the suicide of her mother. I think the author did a very good job of putting us in her shoes of a confused child trying to please the adults in her life.
Janilyn Kocher
Jul 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Reversible Skirt is a depressing memoir. Three little girls are shuttled from house to house after the suicide of their mother. Their stepmother is abusive and controlling, especially after the death of their father. It's hard to discern what happened as the author talks of things from a child's perspective. Even in the epilogue she really doesn't explain much and I think more information would have enhanced the story. Thanks to NetGalley and Wordforest for the early read in exchange for my hone ...more
Kelly Long
Jun 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, nonfiction
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book is pretty depressing to read. I had a bit of a hard time getting used to the writing style as it is from a child's perspective. But as she got older, the book got more interesting and I got more into the story.
How confusing it must've been for the author to lose her mother to suicide at such a young age and then be told her dad's new wife is her mother. This new mother was emotionally ab
Sep 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I confess. I am a fan of Laura McHale Holland's careful use of detail to describe, but not dramatize. In some way her discipline around description provides a palpable emotional content to her work.
I believe we need stories of those who have risen victorious from the ashes of childhood gone wrong. McHale Holland delivers every time. Well worth the read.
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three sisters growing up with not so normal family dynamics. The parents try really hard to have a family unit, but the lack of money makes the stepmother almost a mirror image of the evil stepmother in Cinderella. The girls adapt to ever changing life events, some very sad others not. There are cringe-worthy moments with both the stepmother and their father, who I believe wanted to stay in the good graces of the stepmother. It's a very good, yet sad story. For all the things they went though th ...more
Sue Owen
May 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
For me, at the very bottom of my reading lists are autobiographies. I like to preface any autobio that I review with that sentence because very few of them actually catch my attention and are able to hold my interests. I’m sorry to say, this was one of them. Although I was unable to finish it, this certainly was not without good points and, if you like this type of writing, it is a great representation.

The author did a great job of representing the child-like references for the early years. I di
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Laura McHale Holland
Mar 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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James R. Bonine
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