"Count your blessings," his mother told him, "Think of everything good in your life."
Building from Lee Martin's acclaimed first memoir, From Our House, which recounts the farming accident that cost his father both his hands, Gone the Hard Road is the story of Beulah Martin's endurance and sacrifice as a mother, and the gift of imagination she offered her son. Martin unfolds the world she created for him within their unsettled family life, from the first time she read to him in a doctor's office waiting room, to enrolling him in a children's book club, to the books she bought him in high school. Gone the Hard Road portrays Beulah's selfless as the family moved around the Midwest, sometimes in the face of her husband's opposition, to show her son a different way of being. Rather than concentrate on the life his father threatened to destroy, as Martin's previous memoirs do, Gone the Hard Road offers the counternarrative of a loving mother and the creative life she made possible, in spite of the eventual cost to herself.
A poignant, honest, and moving read, Gone the Hard Road will stay with anyone who has ever struggled to find their place in the world.
The Hard Road
If "If's" and "But's" Were Candies and Nuts
The Healing Line
Gone the Hard Road
A Month of Sundays
Once upon a Time
My Lost Year
"In stunning, lyrical language, Gone the Hard Road nostalgically evokes the midwestern childhood of a bright, sensitive boy faced with pain and beauty in equal measure. With an unflinching look at the enduring bonds of love in the face of shattering hardship, Martin reveals 'all the ways [we] reinvent ourselves when trouble comes.'"~Kristen Iverson, editor of The Cincinnati Review