The Beginning Things (Paperback)
Tot is twelve, sizzling with an urgent crush on the wrong boy. Her mother sews to support the family after her husband’s desertion. Dan, the father of said missing husband, moves into the house on Stanley Close, newly widowed, penniless, and very fond of his drink. Tot and her “Dangrad” have always been close and share an affinity for spoonerisms. These linguistic twistings add humor to the prose and provide an oblique way for Tot and Dan to talk about their uncomfortable and difficult-to-discuss issues. Using British slang and a poet’s ear, UK-born Goodjohn weaves the Thompson voices into a cohesive and tightly paced story. I love the toughness of this book as much as I am grateful for its compassion and tenderness.— From Ellen's Picks
The Beginning Things is a novel of lessons and of steps towards redemption. Twelve-year-old Tot Thompson, mourning the loss of her father and stranded on an island of familial dysfunction, finds a moment of importance in a neighbor's bed. Dan Grad, her recently widowed grandfather, finds a sharp-edged peace inside a bottle of Bells Whiskey. Both have lessons to learn...and strangely enough, important lessons to teach. REVIEWS
"Watch out. You can get dangerously attached to the people of Tot Thompson's world. Dangerous because the last page WILL COME and you shall realize it's only a book." -Carolyn Chute, author of The Beans of Egypt, Maine and others. "The Beginning Things contains three coming-of-age stories, all of them beautifully told with equal parts toughness and tenderness. Readers will recognize important truths about themselves and their lives as lived through Tot, the pre-teen; Elaine, Tot's single mother, and Dan, Elaine's recently widowed father-in-law. Goodjohn balances each of their stories with dry humor and a strong sense of the importance of both endings and beginnings, as well as the battles and triumphs of the in-betweens. This is a rare book, wound tight as thread around a finger, and as lyrical as everyday things fully realized. I have nothing but praise for its wise and insightful author. Enter the world of The Beginning Things, and you will not want to emerge again until the very last word." -Morgan Callan Rogers, author of Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bunny Goodjohn was born in London in 1960 and moved to the United States in 1999. She is published in both prose and poetry and her books include Sticklebacks and Snow Globes (Permanent Press 2007, Scribe 2008, Centrepolygraph 2008) and Bone Song (Briery Creek Press 2015). She teaches and directs the Writing Program at Randolph College in Lynchburg. www.bagoodjohn.com.
About the Author
Bunny Goodjohn was born in London in 1960 and moved to the United States in 1999. She is published in both prose and poetry and her books include Sticklebacks and Snow Globes (Permanent Press 2007, Scribe 2008, Centrepolygraph 2008) and Bone Song (Briery Creek Press 2015). She teaches and directs the Writing Program at Randolph College in Lynchburg. www.bagoodjohn.com