I was sure I'd put the whole sibling stuff to "bed" after writing Dead Serious. Surprise! Writing that book was the tip of the iceberg. My brother had been such an important part of my life. What about other siblings? How did they shape each other's lives? And so I plowed ahead and wrote The Sibling Connection: How Siblings Shape Our Lives.
They were five kids with five different fathers and an alcoholic mother who left them to fend for themselves for weeks at a time. Yet through it all they had each other. Rosie, the youngest, is fawned over and shielded by her older sister, Regina. Their mother, Cookie, blows in and out of their lives “like a hurricane, blind and uncaring to everything in her path.”
But when Regina discloses the truth about her abusive mother to her social worker, she is separated from her younger siblings Norman and Rosie. And as Rosie discovers after Cookie kidnaps her from foster care, the one thing worse than being abandoned by her mother is living in Cookie’s presence. Beaten physically, abused emotionally, and forced to labor at the farm where Cookie settles in Idaho, Rosie refuses to give in. Like her sister Regina, Rosie has an unfathomable strength in the face of unimaginable hardship—enough to propel her out of Idaho and out of a nightmare.
Filled with maturity and grace, Rosie’s memoir continues the compelling story begun in Etched in Sand—a shocking yet profoundly moving testament to sisterhood and indomitable courage.
Thirty plus years after publishing the first edition of Dead Serious, this second completely revised and updated edition covers new ground: bullying, social media, LGBTQ teens, suicide prevention programs, and more. Scores of teens share their stories that are often filled with hurt, disappointment, shame—yet often hope. Written for teens, adults and educators, Dead Serious: Breaking the Cycle of Teen Suicide explores the current cultural and social landscape and how the pressure-filled lives of teens today can lead to anxiety, depression—suicide. Leder’s own journey of discovery after her brother’s suicide informs her goal of helping to prevent teen suicide by empowering teens who are suffering and teens who can serve as peer leaders and connectors to trusted adults. The skyrocketing number of teens who take their own lives makes Dead Serious: Breaking the Cycle of Teen Suicide more relevant and important than ever.
“Talking about suicide does not make matters worse. What makes matters worse is not talking.”
The collective consciousness of World War II revolved around the virtues of bravery, sacrifice, and commitment. Members of The Greatest Generation toed political and social lines in hopes of winning the war. They fell into lockstep, asking very few questions, and breaking few social and sexual mores. Or did they?
In fact, World War II was--like all wars--a time of sexual experimentation and a general loosening of morals. It was a time of conflicting emotions and conflicting messages, a time of great sacrifice, and a time of discovery, when some groups, especially woman, experienced a relaxing of bonds that had kept them in check. Thanks For The Memories: Love, Sex, and World War II the true story of how the World War II generation responded to the passions of war, and how those passions changed their lives-and the relationships between the sexes-forever. But this book is more than that. As Jane Mersky Leder writes, Thanks for the Memories opens the hearts and memories of a generation that is dying, by one estimate, at the rate of more than 1,000 a day. It exposes the sexual and romantic escapades of The Greatest Generation and underscores how those four war years revolutionized relationships (including those between gays), and how it helped set the stage for the second wave of the women's liberation movement. Many who never thought their stories mattered, Leder writes, now feel the pull of limited time, and the importance of leaving an accurate account for their children and grandchildren of what it was like to be a young man or young woman during World War II. This is their collective story.