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This Never Happened

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4.41  ·  Rating details ·  51 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Like an archaeological dig, Liz Scott's memoir This Never Happened goes in search of the answers to the mysteries of her family. In her relentless quest to uncover the truth, she mines photographs and letters, leaving no one, including herself, unexamined. This is a spare work... alternatively heartbreaking and darkly comic. In the end, it is about the struggle to clear aw ...more
Paperback, 300 pages
Published February 1st 2019 by University of Hell Press
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Gigi Little
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVE this memoir. This Never Happened is a mystery of the heart, an excavation and examination of the known fragments of a mostly unknown story. Piecing her way through the relics and memories of her very odd and broken family, Liz Scott writes with a voice that is fresh, frank, and generous full of insight and wicked humor. This Never Happened is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.
Robert Hill
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Written with such heart, humor, and forgiveness. Brings one right to those aching moments that forever stand out, making them immediate and palpable for the reader, and always with the compassion of a lifetime's understanding. To call it a memoir is to short change it. This is a delicate piece of art! ...more
Dianah
Liz Scott shares the achingly real struggle to understand her childhood and her narcissistic parents in her hilarious/beautiful/wrenching memoir, This Never Happened. Raging narcissism is the foundation of her confused childhood and continues into her acquiescent adulthood; there is no escape. But she works hard to excavate the truth of her life, overturning each insane interaction with her parents, looking for answers, looking for meaning. Told with an unflinching willingness to self-examine, S ...more
Vicki Lachmann
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This utterly readable book is humorous, honest and poignant. As a fellow psychotherapist, I have been urging certain clients to read it as a means to feel less alone in their conflicted emotions regarding their childhood experiences...and to inspire the sure knowledge that there can be a gratifying life after a dysfunctional upbringing. As the reader; well, I laughed and I cried, as the saying goes. Liz's writing is open, accessible, from her heart, relatable, and when indicated, very funny. ...more
Jackie
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Liz Scott takes a complicated path in returning to the history that is her parents and herself. She does it beautifully with pure language and a graceful spirit.
Jodi
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Liz Scott has put herself out there in a way that is relatable and achingly beautiful. Not only is she sharing her own story, she is providing context and perspective to the reader’s own familial challenges - which we know we all need. Thank you for your honesty and for sharing your life with all of us! I’m so proud of you.
Richard
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fascinating memoir comprised of many short chapters about the difficulties of growing up with two damaged, narcissistic parents. The author spends many years uncovering family secrets and pursuing her own healing. Here is an opportunity to put your own family dysfunction in perspective.
Bree
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have, in the past, been a bit leery of memoirs. Often they are full of names and dates and places and slow paced. This never Happened is not one of those. It's a page turner, full of action and suspense and a desire to see it all turn out right.

Scott's sharp focus is on her relationship with her parents. These are not your everyday parents. They are talented, intellectual, ambitious, off and on wealthy, gifted and beautiful... and pretty much nuts. Both are narcissist, in both the loose use of
...more
Adam Strong
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Elizabeth Scott does much in establishing a new type of memoir, what I call a sleuthy memoir. Sleuthy because Scott plays detective in excising artifacts from the past in order to create a sense of history with her parents. There is much to be found in original documents, letters from her mother and father, those documents fill in the missing pieces that make up the void that can never really be filled. That's how much mystery there is in her familial history.

That Scott makes us feel all of thes
...more
K
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this book in so many ways. Smart, sparse, poetic—with humor stepping in just when you need it— This Never Happened takes us on a journey that we all must learn to travel if we are to find any peace in the heartaches of our lives. With absolute warmth, humor, wisdom, and ultimately, grace, Scott has created a blueprint for how to forgive and live with what is, rather that what might have been. This Never Happened is the kind of story that only a writer who has wrestled with and made peace ...more
Lindsay Critelli
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I went to Portland the same way I go to any place: never knowing just what is there waiting for me. I had a day to myself unexpectedly and visited my favorite indie book store "Another Read Through". A poster and many copies of "This Never Happened" were announcing a scheduled reading by Liz Scott later that night. If I end up in the area again, I thought, I will stop by.

I was back at the shop right on time. Full from a lovely dinner and ready to relax and perhaps learn about a good book! Liz s
...more
Grant
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Liz Scott’s interestingly strange, salty and, in places, hair-tearingly creepy memoir This Never Happened is the latest in a long line of women’s memoirs that I’ve binged on lately.

I started with The Liar’s Club, Mary Karr’s riveting award-winning childhood tale that kicked off the contemporary Femoir Movement, followed by her teenage hormone, drug and alcohol fueled Cherry. (Mary Karr has also created a legacy for future memoirists with her instructional, yet highly entertaining The Art Of Mem
...more
David Tromblay
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If we read fiction to distract ourselves from the realities of daily life, we read memoir to remind ourselves we are not alone—not in the extraterrestrial sense—but to know someone has walked a similar path, and, most importantly, survived. Memoirs from those unfamiliar to us largely serve as field guides for families lacking function. Liz Scott’s “This Never Happened” from University of Hell Press (February 2019), you will find is a worthy read—no matter your pedigree or where your reading proc ...more
John D.
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having known the author since grade school I had a strong desire to read her book as soon as I heard about its publication. Liz reconstructs the details of her childhood, adolescence and early adulthood so that the damage caused to her and her sister by her parents becomes painfully apparent to the reader. Many times I found myself in angry disbelief reading about the things she experienced in our bucolic little town. Liz's style of writing makes this book both a fascinating and quick read. Upon ...more
Sarah
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a trip down memory lane which Scott so clearly articulates was a dangerous and often heart-wrenching journey. As a friend of the author since elementary school, I often traveled along side her and was even mentioned by initials in the book. But I never knew this happened. It was a tough enough time to begin with and an act of courageous self-reflection many years later. I read the book in one sitting and even though there are mutual friends who would be interested to read this, I can't seem ...more
Donna Brinckerhoff
I finished this book in under 24 hours. It was so riveting I couldn’t put it down and had to keep reminding myself that this story is not fictional, rather a true account of a devastating childhood filled with abandonment and loss. The author pretty much raised herself, and it’s amazing how she tells her story factually, and often with great humor. I applaud her resilience, strength of character and will to survive, and for overcoming the paralysis, sadness and shame inherent in this type of chi ...more
D.S.
Jul 13, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susan Vogt
This is a compelling heart-wrenching story which is only made bearable by Liz Scott's wisdom and humour in writing about her very dysfunctional family. I loved this book and read it over a day and a half. It is very well-written and interestingly structured with jumps back and forth in time and many short chapters. I feel like I lived this book but I left it with many unanswered questions. I hope there will be a sequel. Meanwhile, I highly recommend This Never Happened. ...more
Jane
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Compelling Read

"This Never Happened" draws the reader in from the moment you read the first page to the last page. She is ruthlessly honest about her family's dysfunction but also how her learned strategies kept her in her own loop of unhappiness. She uses a richly textured chronological weaving of far past, near past, and present, revealing a remarkable compassion for all the players. And there is sense of humor in the telling of the tale as well. It is a book you don't want to put down.
...more
Marcia
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this memoir. Read it in one sitting. Like an archeologist carefully digging to figure out the past, Liz Scott digs into her past and her family’s past to make sense of how she became the woman she is. This is a story served up with tremendous heart. Highly recommend you read this wonderful work.
Hannah
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Frame by frame memoir of what it’s like to sort through the wreckage of your parents.
Kim
Feb 26, 2020 rated it liked it
life reflections from daughter of narcissist mom who immigrated from Settlement of Pale and mentally unstable dad.
Potassium
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Super well written memoir. At times totally heartbreaking and sometimes hilarious. This is Liz Scott’s search for who her family is. Told in short vignettes, found letters, etc.

My favorite part is her brutal honesty about herself and the discomfort she made me feel when she highlighted how easy it is for white people to completely ignore what’s going on in the world and have that be normal.
Joseph Haeger
There was a point when I was afraid Scott had painted herself into a corner. By the middle of the book I thought the expectations had been set too high. So when the scene where her mom offered to answer any and all questions came up again, I was ready not only for the answers, but also for what Scott was going to ask. The second time her mom’s dying offer comes up, just like the first, she pivots to something else. In a way, she embodies what her own mom did to her growing up. We—as the readers— ...more
Carmel Breathnach
Sep 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This Never Happened by Elizabeth Scott is a book so riveting and darkly funny I couldn’t put it down. In a relentless quest to understand the mysteries of a childhood with narcissistic parents, Scott examines original documents, photographs, letters from her mother and father and pieces of memorabilia left behind by generations passed. A unique and devastating memoir that reads like fiction and is full of heart. I absolutely loved this beautiful, hilarious and deeply honest memoir. It's like no ...more
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