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November 11 , 2009

Passages from Behind These Doors: A Family Memoir


This kaleidoscope of frank, funny, and tender tales are about sin and prayer, good intentions and unattended sorrows, and about finding our way back home. Growing up in California in the 1950s and 60s, Catherine Clemens Sevenau was raised primarily by an older sister, survived five years living with an unhinged erratic mother, and spent summers working at her father's five-and-dime in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury. This era and sense of place provide the colorful background to a soul-searching and riveting account of her early family life. Through it all, she tells her story with humor and grace. Behind These Doors is a portrait of a woman’s journey to find her place in the family and to understand her troubled mother. The compelling stories create a tapestry of love, loss, hurt, and laughter. With clarity and perspective, Sevenau embraces the events of her early years, and comes to appreciate what transpired were gifts in disguise: that what occurred happened for her, not to her. Transforming a bewildering and fractured childhood into a life well lived, she has found her way back home. Catherine Sevenau is an irreverent humorist and an astute storyteller. These twenty passages from Behind These are a poignant and captivating taste of her first book.

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