It Hit Me Like a Ton of Bricks: A Memoir of a Mother and Daughter

Catherine L. Burns, Author . North Point $23 (228p) ISBN 978-0-86547-708-7

Actress Burns, who has appeared on E.R . and Law and Order , has written a funny, touching mother and daughter memoir. Born in 1961 and nine when her father died, Burns felt she got no sympathy from her mother, who worried that her daughter would use people's pity to become manipulative. Besides, her mother said, "where is it written you have to be happy." As a teen, Burns suspected her mother was trying to get rid of her—shipping her off to live with older step-siblings, sending her to boarding school—so she could have fun with her male friends. Surviving drugs, sex and suicidal behavior, Burns went to college, started an acting career, married, had a child, divorced and discovered her mother again. The full circle of the maternal bond is what makes this memoir satisfying; readers see the daughter who schemed to get the attention of the mother whom she believed was self-centered become a mother herself and confront her own daughter's control ploys. When Burns tells her mom what readers have long suspected—that her mother is her best friend—her mother decides she herself is "finished being crazy" and they're both, finally, able to relax together. (May)

Reviewed on: 02/06/2006
Release date: 04/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
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