How to Cook Your Daughter: A Memoir by Jessica Hendra

By Jessica Hendra

How does a bit woman locate her means in an international the place not anything is sacred? In 2004, Tony Hendra's memoir Father Joe: the fellow Who stored My Soul, spent 13 weeks at the long island occasions bestseller record. The ebook distinctive his lifestyles as a comic who helped release the careers of John Belushi and Chevy Chase, wrote for and edited The nationwide Lampoon, and played in such cult classics as this can be Spinal faucet, whilst he overindulged in alcohol and medication. yet there has been a obtrusive omission in his intended tell-all confessional: the sexual abuse of his daughter Jessica. After greater than thirty years of silence, Jessica confronted a harrowing selection. during this strong ebook, she unearths how she got here to the choice to publicly confront her father, sacrificing any wish of reconciling with him and environment into movement a brand new York occasions research that stunned the literary global while it broke the tale of abuse. yet Jessica's account is neither a minor footnote nor an indignant reaction to her dad's bestseller. how you can prepare dinner Your Daughter -- titled after a satirical piece her father wrote just a couple of months prior to the abuse begun -- is an unflinching and unsentimental examine a youth that by no means was once, set in a time and position immediately from the pages of the outrageous journal that her father helped to create. opposed to the backdrop of the Seventies manhattan comedy scene, the memoir lines Jessica's trip from a misplaced and abused baby to a tender girl being affected by bulimia and anorexia to the mum of 2 who turns into confident that hard her father is the single strategy to reclaim a existence that by no means appeared her personal.

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Sample text

He would write a note to the principal of Lebanon Township School, he promised, insisting that Kathy and I not say the pledge. All I could think of was Miss Mole telling the class to stand up, hands over hearts, her mole hair waving as she spoke. ” I imagined her sharp voice as she said my name, her scowl, and the looks on the other kids’ faces as they stared at the com- H OW TO C O O K YO U R DAU G H T E R 27 mie hunched over her desk. “We knew by her lunch she was weird,” they’d whisper. But Daddy was even more outraged about the safety who kept me away from the swing set.

I doubt she had the emotional energy to examine what was going on with me anyway. Looking back, I’m not sure she truly wanted to be a mother—not then, when she was surrounded by a group of creative singles looking to make their way in the world. Here she was, shuttling us to school and packing sack lunches. There they were, free H OW TO C O O K YO U R DAU G H T E R 55 to do as they pleased—and her husband ran with them. For her, just getting through the day had become a challenge. I don’t know if my mother knew of Daddy’s many affairs, but everyone at the Lampoon did.

I could play for hours up at their house, reveling in Wonder Bread, Fresca, Barbies, and maybe even an episode of Mighty Mouse. The Bradford house was my portal to suburban America. I felt slightly guilty when I returned from a day at Becky’s—as if I had been off doing something illicit. I wondered: Could my parents smell the Hamburger Helper on my breath? H OW TO C O O K YO U R DAU G H T E R 31 I never stopped feeling awkward and out of place at Lebanon Township School. But there seemed one way to belong.

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