OCCASIONS OF SIN: A Memoir

Sandra Jean Scofield, Author . Norton $24.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-393-05735-5

Scofield's account of her childhood and teenage years will ring familiar with many readers. Although the book is framed by a specific time (the 1950s and '60s) and place (West Texas), its themes—of wanting to be a perfect daughter, of trying to grasp the concepts of religion and God as a child, of fitting in among peers who seem far more mature—are universal. Scofield's mother, Edith, lived a difficult life. A striking beauty, she had political ambitions yet was held back by a disapproving mother, two understandably needy young daughters and an often-absent husband. Edith, formerly Methodist, converted to Roman Catholicism when Scofield was a child, and brought Scofield and her sister up in the church. Much of Scofield's memoir concerns her years at Catholic boarding school, where she tried to find a balance between having an intimate relationship with God and fearing the iron-fisted nuns who monitored her every movement and prohibited contact with Scofield's adored—and non-Catholic—grandmother. Unlike many memoirists who write of growing up Catholic, novelist Scofield (Opal on Dry Ground ; Plain Seeing ; etc.) does not take a lighthearted look at her tumultuous childhood; rather, she marks her memories with an intense, reverent seriousness. When Scofield returned home at age 15 to live with Edith, the mother she'd idolized practically since birth, she was devastated to find her showing signs of grave illness, which turned out to be chronic nephritis, a kidney disease (she died a year later). Poignant and clearly cathartic, this is a tender, melancholic coming-of-age story. Agent, Emma Sweeney. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/10/2003
Release date: 01/01/2004
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-393-32721-2
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.