Read Going Down Swinging by Billie Livingston Online

going-down-swinging

A remarkable debut novel and bittersweet tale of the unflinching love and devotion between a mother and daughter.Razor sharp and darkly funny Going Down Swinging chronicles two years in the life of the Hoffmans. Eilleen Hoffman has just told Danny, her con-artist lover and father of her youngest daughter Grace, to get out — for good. Once a teacher, Eilleen lived a middle-A remarkable debut novel and bittersweet tale of the unflinching love and devotion between a mother and daughter.Razor sharp and darkly funny Going Down Swinging chronicles two years in the life of the Hoffmans. Eilleen Hoffman has just told Danny, her con-artist lover and father of her youngest daughter Grace, to get out — for good. Once a teacher, Eilleen lived a middle-class life, but her taste in men coupled with a predilection for pills and booze has brought her down. Desperate to prevent her family from sinking deeper into poverty, Eilleen reluctantly goes on welfare. Eventually she turns to the only friends she has left, hustlers and hookers, to learn how a woman makes fast money, no investment necessary.With Eilleen on welfare and her older daughter Charlotte a teenaged runaway, child welfare authorities descend on the Hoffmans. As Eilleen trails through several attempts at drying out, the well-intentioned Children's Protection Society finally intervenes to apprehend Grace. With the threat of prolonged separation now a stark reality, Eilleen and Grace must rally to confront their demons with grit, determination and humour. Unblinkingly observed and brilliantly written, Going Down Swinging is about the powerful bond between mother and child. And with her skilful narrative interplay, Billie Livingston illustrates poignantly how the truth of our stories lies not so much in the black and white, as it does in the grey....

Title : Going Down Swinging
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780679310730
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 336 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Going Down Swinging Reviews

  • Susan L. Greig
    2018-11-25 08:23

    Based on the description on the back I was interested to read this book when it was picked by our book club. By the time I got to the part about the knives though I was nauseated, devastated and crying--it was just too close to home after going through some similar experiences while growing up. I really had to do some soul-searching about whether it was healthy for me emotionally to continue reading the book. In the end I decided I wanted to finish it. I had to detach myself though and basically speed read the rest. There were definitely many nuances and other things I missed and that is sad, because after doing research it is at least 50% auto-biographical and comes from place of authencity--and it is always those kinds of books that are the best.If you do not have a background filled with alcoholism or drug abuse, neglect and the things that comes along with that like the threat of social services hanging over your head then it will be an enjoyable read and you'll gain insight into the reality of a family plagued with disfunction. If however, you come from this sort of background be prepared for the emotions it may bring up and make plans to be supported if you choose to read it.At book club I let everyone else speak first and I got to hear about the great writing and quotes everyone liked and I'm so very happy I did because it allowed me to see the book through others eyes. When it came my time to speak I couldn't say alot at first except to tell everyone through tears that they had just read my life story growing up (albeit different causes & circumstances). We all cried together and I was able to tell some of my story to people I trust. This experience has reminded me of one of my favorite quotes: Grief knits two hearts in closer bonds than happiness ever can; and common sufferings are far stronger links than common joys." I'm grateful to Billie Livingston for first having the courage to share these parts of her life and secondly for being so honest about her suffering in Going Down Swinging--as hard a read as it was me, it was a good reminder I am not alone in my experiences. This book provided me an opportunity to tell others something of my story which was healing and that in itself is a blessing.

  • Dee
    2018-12-09 07:29

    I read Going Down Swinging a second time this week and fell in love all over again. The subject matter is difficult and yet there is such tenderness and binding love between Grace and her mother Eilleen that I find it hard to look away. I love the way the characters use black humor to get through the most awful situations. It feels real and resolute. The story is about alcoholic and prescription drug addicted Eileen and her little girl, Grace. Eileen is a former teacher but substance abuse and crappy taste in men have left her in a mess, on welfare and selling sex periodically to support Grace and her own habits. It's darkly funny and heart wrenching at the same time.

  • Tricia Dower
    2018-11-23 09:22

    Irene is one of the most memorable literary characters I've ever read. If you read this book for her alone you won't be disappointed. And there's so much more.

  • Julie
    2018-12-10 10:13

    A remarkable debut novel and bittersweet tale of the unflinching love and devotion between a mother and daughter. Razor sharp and darkly funny Going Down Swinging chronicles two years in the life of the Hoffmans. Eilleen Hoffman has just told Danny, her con-artist lover and father of her youngest daughter Grace, to get out — for good. Once a teacher, Eilleen lived a middle-class life, but her taste in men coupled with a predilection for pills and booze has brought her down.Desperate to prevent her family from sinking deeper into poverty, Eilleen reluctantly goes on welfare. Eventually she turns to the only friends she has left, hustlers and hookers, to learn how a woman makes fast money, no investment necessary. With Eilleen on welfare and her older daughter Charlotte a teenaged runaway, child welfare authorities descend on the Hoffmans. As Eilleen trails through several attempts at drying out, the well-intentioned Children's Protection Society finally intervenes to apprehend Grace. With the threat of prolonged separation now a stark reality, Eilleen and Grace must rally to confront their demons with grit, determination and humour.Unblinkingly observed and brilliantly written, Going Down Swinging is about the powerful bond between mother and child. And with her skilful narrative interplay, Billie Livingston illustrates poignantly how the truth of our stories lies not so much in the black and white, as it does in the grey.Also found on my book review blogJules' Book Reviews - Going Down Swinging

  • Denise MacDonald
    2018-12-10 03:31

    I found this to be a very emotional book. I don't know how anyone who hasn't been a part of the child protection system could write such an accurate portrayal of it. Every character in this book was real, you can find people similar to them in any town. The author developed each one perfectly- emotionally, psychologically and physically. She also told the same story from every side- the parent, the child, the social worker, the family friends and even the police. I felt like I was reading the other side to the case history of any child I could potentially work with someday. It is an excellent book to teach empathy, meaning making and point of view. It is also a great example of how our experiences impact how we see the world around us. I loved it!

  • Zoom
    2018-11-18 10:19

    I liked this book so much I immediately ordered all the other books Billie Livingston has written. It was interesting and touching and the characters were terribly flawed yet likable and believable. It's about how a person can fail miserably at the most important thing in their life, yet still offer something of value that nobody else can. An alcoholic mother, a child who is both neglected and loved...I liked how the author was able to present the story without imposing either judgement or excuses for Eilleen.

  • Jessi
    2018-12-02 03:41

    The book is written from both the mother and daughter's perspective. She does a great job capturing both characters personalities and emotions through her writing. The story relates the love and torment of a codependent relationship. It's about mom's struggle with alcoholism, daughter's coping with the disease and surviving it all through foster system and public assistance. Despite moms inadequacies it was clear how much the author wanted to convey the love felt by both. There's lots to love about both too they are funny and quirky.

  • Tracey Knowlton
    2018-11-12 08:31

    This was a very difficult book to read due to its emotional content and intensity. Only someone who has been through " The System" could write so passionately.....

  • Caitlin
    2018-11-13 08:40

    Difficult to read since I can relate to it so much. I thought it clever that it was written from two perspectives: the mother and daughter characters. Again, favourite author.

  • Janet Adams
    2018-11-14 11:28

    Loved this book. Sad and funny at once. Like Billie Livingston's other work, this one is full of bite and honesty while still imbued with great soul.