cover image The Love You Save: A Memoir

The Love You Save: A Memoir

Goldie Taylor. Hanover Square, $28.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-335-44937-5

A turbulent coming-of-age in the 1970s and ’80s Missouri suburbs is recalled in this indelible memoir from Taylor (Paper Gods: A Novel of Money, Race, and Politics). After Taylor’s father was murdered when she was five, the family moved to the all-white suburb of St. Ann. Taylor, who is Black, thrived in her new home until a teenage boy raped her when she was 11 years old. When Taylor’s family ignored her trauma (“It was as if my mother tucked away the unpleasantness and moved on”), she struggled with thoughts of suicide. Later, Taylor went to live with her aunt and uncle in East St. Louis, where her aunt, who called her “Dum-Dum,” forced her to toil for hours doing household labor, and her cousin repeatedly raped her, resulting in a pregnancy and a miscarriage. But school was a refuge for Taylor, and she became inspired by the works of Maya Angelou and James Baldwin, who “was a ready salve, meeting me at my point of need.” Taylor’s narrative is peppered with canny and insightful reflections: “For far too many years, I lived as if holding my breath.” This powerful examination of survival and self-forgiveness is an emotional reckoning. Agent: Eve Attermann, WME. (Jan.)