Top Shelf: Four June Beauties

Stock your home library with these unforgettable reads.

By the MORE Books Editors
Silver Sparrow Indigo Orientation
Photograph: Avery Powell

4. I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl by Kelle Groom (Free Press)
In this lyrical memoir, poet Kelle Groom searches in every crease and corner of memory for her baby boy, Tommy, who died 27 years ago. Pregnant at 19, she gave up her son and, after learning of his early death, spiraled into alcohol addiction to block her pain. “I love the burning . . . The glow that spreads through my body like the moon on the ocean,” she writes. In a series of beau­tifully compressed narratives, Groom, who grapples here with the very meaning of motherhood, describes devastating binges, multiple assaults and rapes, several trips to rehab and a lengthy cast of abettors and abusers. She struggles in a vortex of grief, attempting time and again to ­paddle against it: “Pain has a gate to get through before your body makes its own opium, endor­phins sounding like something that swims.” As heartbreaking as this book is, Groom writes with a captivating urgency. Her sal­vation, a result of her tireless quest for clarity, will leave you cheering. —Susanna Sonnenberg





First Published May 23, 2011

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