How many of us as adolescents or teenagers have sworn that we never, ever want to be like our parents? I think most of us have had those thoughts, especially in times of anger or embarrassment at how out of touch our parents are, only to find years later that we are indeed very like our parents. But what if being different meant more than not wanting to be ‘old and boring’ or embarrassing; what if being different meant survival?
All families have problems; all have arguments and are somewhat dysfunctional. But for those that have grown up in abusive, neglectful, or addictive homes, we know just how dysfunctional life can be. We know the shame and the loneliness associated with having an addictive parent, whether their addictive weapon is alcohol, prescription drugs, or street drugs, it all amounts to knowing you, the child comes second to their true love, this addictive substance of choice.
When you grow up in this environment you truly long to be very, very different from your parents, you want to be as different from them as possible.
It is this need to ‘fall’ Far From the Tree that Shari Sullivan-Quinn deals with in her first novel. It is based on growing up with an alcoholic parent and dealing with the lifelong impact this can have on families.