Ivy Lodge: A Memoir of Translation and Discovery

She Writes Pr. Jun. 2022. 280p. ISBN 9781647423674. pap. $16.95. MEMOIR
After the death of her elderly parents, multi-linguist/writer Marshall (translation editor for the Los Angeles Review) and her siblings return to clean out Ivy Lodge, the Tudor-style former manor home where she spent her childhood in Kirkwood, Missouri. Room by room, Marshall conjures up memories from her childhood. For example, the foyer is where her mother received news that her brother Sam was shot in Vietnam. Marshall describes the experience of cleaning out the home with her siblings and divvying up possessions. She stands her ground over keeping her father’s brush because it reminds her of brushing her mother’s hair when she was in the hospital. Marshall’s memories are personal, vivid, and often painful. Her parents were stoic—she only saw her mother cry once—and she holds onto hope that she will uncover something that explains her mother’s icy demeanor. By walking readers through the childhood home she calls a “house divided,” Marshall explores the strained relationship she had with her late parents and the distance between herself and her siblings.
VERDICT Marshall’s reflections on coming of age during the 1960s will appeal to some readers, as will her experience being raised by cold and distant parents.
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