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The Three of Us

A Family Story

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This is the story of three people: acclaimed writer Julia Blackburn; her father, Thomas - a poet and alcoholic with an addiction to barbiturates; and her mother, Rosalie - a flirtatious painter with no boundaries.After Julia's parents divorced, her mother took in male lodgers with the hope they would become her lovers. When one of the lodgers began an affair with Julia, competitive Rosalie was devastated; he later committed suicide, shattering whatever relationship between mother and daughter remained. After thirty years, Rosalie, diagnosed with leukemia, came to live with Julia for the last month of her life. Only then were they allowed, at long last, to exist with an ease they had never known.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Publishers Weekly Review

Apr 21, 2008 – English writer Blackburn (Daisy Bates in the Desert) had two extraordinary parents, poet Thomas Blackburn and painter Rosalie de Meric. Her utterly doting father, who’d sit on the toilet seat and recite poetry with her when she bathed, eventually died of the alcohol and pill addictions that fueled his adult life. Both parents entertained long lists of lovers. After they separated, Julia (who was born in 1948) lived mostly with her mother, who painted heavily symbolic nudes and ethereal landscapes, and the young “boarders” her mother was forever trying to seduce. As Julia grew older, Rosalie worried that her pubescent daughter was becoming more enticing; enraged, she’d goad Julia into flirtations and then accuse her of spoiling Rosalie’s romances. Julia steered clear of most of her parents’ sexual nonsense, except for a significant affair with one of her mother’s ex-lovers that ended with his suicide. Using excerpts from her own journal, snippets from her mother’s papers and her father’s poetry, Julia gradually came to terms with something her father told her, that “we chose our parents” so “we must forgive them, if we are to forgive ourselves.” Her father wasn’t the problem—as bizarrely as he behaved, she’d never “felt threatened” by him. Instead, it’s her mother’s endless anger that’s the vortex of this strangely compelling memoir.

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The Three of Us
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Jul 22, 2008
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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