Leaving Isn’t the Hardest Thing

Books on Tape. Apr. 2021. 9:10 hrs. ISBN 9780593394236. $76. MEMOIR
Imagine changing your first name every time you moved. And you moved frequently. That’s what Hough experienced growing up in a cult where she lived all over the world; when she finally left, she discovered she no longer had an identity. She knew she was a lesbian, though she didn’t really know what that meant in practical terms; in the cult, it was something to be beaten out of her. She joined the U.S. Air Force under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” where she faced so much harassment that she eventually announced that she was a lesbian, in order to get a discharge. She spent years working in bars, working at cash jobs, and being one paycheck away from homelessness. Yet her essays don’t inspire pity, as she doesn’t feel sorry for herself. An essay about working as a cable company technician went viral online and details the depths to which humanity has sunk. She’s funny, poignant, sweetly naïve, painfully honest, and brave. Hough and Cate Blanchett pair up to narrate the audiobook; Blanchett’s reading is naturally more fluent, but it’s personal for Hough, which comes through clearly.
VERDICT Recommended for public library collections.
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