Download Pieces of My Mother: A Memoir Audiobook

Pieces of My Mother: A Memoir Audiobook, by Melissa Cistaro Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Melissa Cistaro Narrator: Angela Brazil Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2015 ISBN: 9781504610520
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This provocative, poignant memoir of a daughter whose mother left her behind by choice begs the question: Are we destined to make the same mistakes as our parents?

One summer, Melissa Cistaro’s mother drove off without explanation. Devastated, Melissa and her brothers were left to pick up the pieces, always tormented by the thought: Why did their mother abandon them?

Thirty-five years later, with children of her own, Melissa finds herself in Olympia, Washington, as her mother is dying. After decades of hiding her painful memories, she has just days to find out what happened that summer and confront the fear she could do the same to her kids. But Melissa never expects to stumble across a cache of letters her mother wrote to her but never sent—letters that could hold the answers she seeks.

Haunting yet ultimately uplifting, Pieces of My Mother chronicles one woman’s quest to discover what drives a mother to walk away from the children she loves. Alternating between Melissa’s tumultuous coming-of-age and her mother’s final days, this captivating memoir reveals how our parents’ choices impact our own and how we can survive those to forge our own paths.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Melissa Cistaro’s imagery is startling and vivid, her story brutally honest and devoid of judgment. Pieces of My Mother is a story that lingers in the heart long after the last page is turned.”

    Hope Edelman, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Sometimes we are defined as much by the person who is missing as the person who is there. Melissa Cistaro has a story to tell and one you don’t hear every day. I was deeply moved from word one.”

    Kelly Corrigan, New York Times bestselling author

  • “This is an astonishing book full of heartbreak and love and hard-won wisdom. Melissa Cistaro writes beautifully not just about her search for the mother who abandoned her but about the myriad ways parents and children don’t and do connect. Told in vivid scenes and through the texts of letters her mother never sent, Cistaro chronicles a journey that goes way past forgiveness to true understanding.”

    Will Schwalbe, New York Times bestselling author

  • “An undercurrent of unresolved hurt and anger runs through this affecting and deeply restrained narrative of a mother’s abandonment of her children…As her mother lay dying, Cistaro found a cache of ‘letters never sent’ in her mother’s house, and though they help Cistaro sift through the wounded memories, there is no tidy reckoning between mother and daughter in this sad cycle of emotional devastation.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “This is a tale of seeking and hoping for forgiveness and enlightenment. Cistaro’s prose is not maudlin but questing. Though she may not find all the answers she needs, she returns, stronger, to her own family, perhaps understanding her mother’s hope of her ‘recognizing…the person I am as opposed to the figure I am supposed to represent.’ A poignant exploration of choices and their reverberations.”


  • “An honest and affecting story of the many complexities involved with family relationships.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “I read this book in one uninterrupted, lump-in-the-throat sitting. Equal parts memoir and emotional whodunit, Pieces of My Mother is a beautiful, wrenching story, meticulously crafted. Cistaro understands all too well the fallibility of memory, the desire to be a flawless mother, and the fear of having inherited the gene for the opposite.”

    Katie Hafner, author of Mother Daughter Me

  • A Kirkus Reviews Pick of 9 Memoirs You Shouldn't Miss
  • A Summer 2016 Indie Next List Selection for Reading Groups

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About the Author

Melissa Cistaro is an events coordinator at Book Passage, the legendary San Francisco Bay area independent bookstore. A writer and mother, she has been published in numerous literary journals, as well as in two anthologies alongside Anne Larnott, Jane Smiley, and others. She lives in San Francisco.

About the Narrator

Angela Brazil is an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator and a professional actor who is proud to be a long-standing member of the Resident Acting Company at Trinity Repertory Company. She also teaches at the Brown/Trinity Conservatory.