Leah Greenblatt
April 14, 2006 AT 04:00 AM EDT

It Hit Me Like a Ton of Bricks

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Catherine Lloyd Burns
publisher
North Point Press
genre
Nonfiction

We gave it a B+

If the sins of the mother are visited upon the daughters, actress Catherine Lloyd Burns (ER, Malcolm in the Middle) has certainly made the best of them. Her breezy childhood in a wealthy Manhattan family was shattered by her father’s death at age 9 — and her mother’s response: She warned her daughter not to use the tragedy to manipulate others. Either admirably progressive or monstrously self-absorbed, Mom embarked on sexually liberating relationships and a successful academic career, while Burns bounced through boarding schools and boyfriends, developing bulimia and a cocaine addiction. Sound unbearably grim? Surprisingly, It Hit Me Like a Ton of Bricks isn’t; Burns’ vignettes are wry and touchingly authentic.

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