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Boot Language

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  28 reviews
From the outside, Vanya’s childhood looked idyllic: she rode horses with her father in the solitude of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and attended flamboyant operas with her mother in the city. But life for Vanya and her family turned dark when ghosts from her father’s service on a Pacific destroyer in World War II tore her family apart.

Set in postwar California, this is the
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 21st 2018 by She Writes
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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  54 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Aug 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Many thanks to BookSparks for providing a copy of Boot Language for review!

Boot Language by Vanya Erickson is an incredibly powerful read! Readers are taken back to the author's first moments in life, covered in blood with her devout Christian Scientist mother refusing to call for help. This quick read is such an interesting look into the psychology of a family. The parts creating the whole were each unique and fascinating to behold through the eyes of the author. In many ways, this memoir of Va
Rita Dragonette
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An Exceptional, and Exceptionally Painful Ride.
This memoir is wonderfully executed—a fabulous, thematically beautiful title; great writing with amazing character and situation descriptions; a totally relatable narrator you want to pull out of this life and protect. You can see, touch, hear and feel the pain of the little girl as well as the scars on the adult woman. You hate--and also come to understand if never to approve of--those who hurt her, as she tries so hard to do herself.
It’s a difficu
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
I can’t in all good conscience give Boot Language any rating higher than two stars. Although the author went into excruciating detail about her abusive, dysfunctional family, and I have no doubt that she suffered, particularly at the hands of her father, she left some gaps in the readers understanding about when and where some incidents took place—in town or on the ranch? Mother present or absent? But worse than that was the faulty editing. The most glaring mistake was Ernest Hemmingway, more th ...more
Aug 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: august-2018
Thank you very much BookSparks for sending me Boot Language in exchange for an honest review. I was heartbroken reading about this sweet little girl who wanted nothing but love from her father. Growing up with a mother who was a Christian Scientist and an alcoholic father, I am in awe that Vanya not only survived it but faced it and then wrote about it! How strong and brave is that? To have to relive these moments must have been hard, so thank you Vanya for sharing your story with us.
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ms. Erickson is a master at creating tension on the page. I was constantly concerned that something worse was going to happen, instigated by her unpredictable and often unkind father. She clearly conveyed what it was like to live with not knowing what the consequences of any of her actions - or of family members - would be. I was frustrated by her mother’s not protecting her and attempts to make up for chaos with visits to the opera. And, although nothing totally morbid and blood curdling happen ...more
Nancy Brown
Wow. I love this voice, that beautiful writing, telling a painful and truthful story. The ending was beautiful. Perfect. The language, narrative style and images carried the deepest and hardest parts into my heart. Life breathed into that precious child who enriched by the wisdom of the writer’s adult self blesses the pages. As she rides across the grassy meadows and into the forest, wonders, hides as she watches her own family unravel, we see it happening, feel it. I can breathe again when she ...more
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As children, we look to our parents to help gently guide us in a direction that leads us to becoming successful adults. But what if our parents are traveling in two separate directions? For Vanya Erickson, that was her childhood. Growing up with a mother who centered her life around her Christian Science belief and a father who was an alcoholic, Vanya was left to sift through emotions and navigate life as best she could.

Finding solstice in her summer ranch life, and a closeness with her younger
Michelle Wyche
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book grasped me from the beginning. Seeing the different parenting styles that Vanya had gone through was interesting. How her mother was against medicine seemed to pop out to me the most. I have heard of people who believe in natural healing, and that God will heal you. I understand that for some this is hard to grasp, and honestly when I read about that part I felt conflicted. Part of me says yes if you are severely sick like Vanya was when she was a baby, that medical attention should be ...more
Cristie Underwood
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
The author wrote a memoir that details growing up with an abusive alcoholic father and a religious mother that doesn't believe in modern medicine, but instead on natural healing. The author's craving for love from her parents, no matter how badly she was treated, was heartbreaking and the raw emotions came through in the writing of this amazing memoir.
Amanda Voss
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a wonderful memoir about the struggles growing up. This is a very opinionated story. Especially when it comes to the health of a child. But this story definitely grasps you.... keeping your intrigued till the end. The different parenting styles and just the experience of it all is a fabulous read!!! Definitely speaks to the parent in me for sure....
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: good-reads
A good read!
Jean Huber Bookmama789
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This month begins a Blog Tour I am participating in called #MagicofMemoir2018 and so a very special thank you to BookSparks for including me in this awesome Blog Tour. As part of the Blog Tour I will be receiving five memoir review copies for free in exchange for am honest review. As always all opinions here and on all my other social media platforms are my own.

The Magic Of Memoir 2018 Blog Tour started out with an absolute stunner of a book. I was sent Boot Language by Vanya Erickson. Before I
Oct 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Big thanks to getting this free copy from BookSparks in exchange for my honest review!!

I am a big fan of memoirs, and when I heard this one was being compared to Educated and The Glass Castle I knew that I had to check it out! I was hooked from the beginning of Vanya's story where she was almost left to die as a baby! There were so many hard parts of this book about her upbringing and I just wanted to give Vanya comfort and a hug.

A particular spot that really got me - "Ever since Dad had fallen
Pookie Sekmet
Nov 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This enjoyable revenge memoir jumps back and forth in time and lacks descriptive details. The author’s father doesn’t love her. We never learn why and apparently, neither does she. She seems to blame herself for a serious accident that happened to her mother, and there is some evidence that she is careless with other things as well. Maybe this is why he is impatient and unkind but her behavior doesn’t seem to justify his. More likely, he behaves badly because he is seriously ill, a hopeless and ...more
Amy (TheSouthernGirlReads)
Thank you @booksparks for my review copy|
“Dad suddenly entered the kitchen, his boots impatient. His disdain for Life had been translated into a sort of boot language, and I swear they spoke to me. I could discern different heel pressures, balances, and gaits. Dad’s boots alerted me to his moods and gave me time to prepare.” Vanya Erickson
Vanya Erickson’s memoir is absolutely heartbreaking. Balanced between a distant Christian Scientist mother and an abusive, alcoholic father. This coming of a
Jul 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Marketed as a top ten debut memoir for 2018, Boot Language is anything but. It reeks of potential exaggeration, faulty memory, and one sidedness. While it purports to tell the story of the author’s relationship with her alcoholic abusive father (along with very little about her spoiled and odd mother), it can’t have been all bad growing up in a home where music lessons, ballet lessons, a summer ranch with horses were routine. In the summer the children were even permitted to run a tab at the loc ...more
Patty Simpson
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
The author has some beautiful turns of phrase, but in general it was not a well written book. In the first half I couldn't even figure out what she was trying to get across. In the second half it was finally clear how dysfunctional her family was, but the author didn't manage to look outside of her own adolescent feelings enough for me to understand what was going on with anyone else, or even between her and anyone else.

The editor failed, too. Her Mom is "a cripple" after an accident, but then s
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Boot Language by Vanya Erickson demonstrates through the author's use of language how powerfully words impact us. In her childhood Erickson learned at least two languages: the cloying descriptions of life offered by her Christian Scientist mother and her father's language of emotional despotism and desperation. Erickson grows fluent in both enough so writes from a place of compelling honesty without recrimination. Definitely a book to read.
Renee Winter
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Boot Language is a beautifully written coming of age memoir that I recommend unequivocally. Erickson's powerful writing captures the drama, passion and suffering of a young girl as she struggles with an alcoholic father and a mother who does not always offer the support and protection her daughter deserves. At the same time the author's words capture the beauty of her California surroundings and her love for horses. As corny as it may sound, I could not put it down! Enjoy!
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
In her memoir, Boot Language, Vanya shares the story of her childhood, at the hands of an alcoholic father and Christian Scientist mother. This was an honest, raw memoir about the effects of abuse on a young child. Her continued need for her parents’ love and acceptance, despite how they treat her, is heartbreaking. This was an emotional, moving read about her struggles to understand and overcome her complicated relationship with both her parents. A great start to the #magicofmemoir2018 tour.
Crystal Zavala
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: booksparks
I enjoy memoirs. Especially memoirs that are about parents and religion. Vanya had an abusive, alcoholic father and a mother who was a Christian Scientist. Both parents were very polarizing.

Vanya's story is heartbreaking and for me it is also very familiar. Vanya is a very talented writer and I appreciate her sharing her story.

Thanks to BookSparks for sending me this free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read. The author really knows how to draw you in. I was hooked from the beginning and could not put this down. It's heart breaking to see life through the eyes of a child growing up with an alcoholic father and a mother who believes God will cure every ailment. Through her struggles she grows up to be strong though and overcome everything she's been through.
I won this through a giveaway on Goodreads. I liked the book, but, it sort of felt like it was more of a way to purge the stories for the author's therapy/recovery the way that it jumped around. I would recommend it to people that do like reading memoirs though.
Debbie Keller
Jul 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Easy, quick read, but I didn't get enough info about why the author's dad acted the way he did to satisfy me.
Linda Lund
Jul 09, 2019 rated it liked it
I could relate to this author as her father was an alcoholic and a bully. He was very demeaning to her and was vocal about never being pleased with her.
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. I would love to see this as a movie.
Ellie Pretsch
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really intense and easy read. Couldn't put it down.
Lexie Lucas
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
Won in a giveaway

So normally I would never pick up a book like this. I tend to avoid sad books like the plague. And you can immediately tell this one will be sad. Detailing a young girl's interactions with her increasingly abusive father, we see her and her siblings grow up in a dangerous household. However, we see a girl who is doing her best, even when it's not good enough for her father. We see someone with growing passions and a sense of what is right and wrong.

Erickson's language is beauti
rated it liked it
Aug 31, 2018
rated it liked it
Sep 06, 2018
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