Going Down Swinging

Billie Livingston

Published by Vintage Canada, 2000
ISBN 10: 0679310738 / ISBN 13: 9780679310730
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Synopsis: 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.

From the Back Cover:

"Going Down Swinging is a moving first book, and Livingston a compelling new voice -- one that should be welcomed and watched." -The Globe and Mail

"[This] first-time novelist reveals an unflinching eye and a formidable grasp of the mysteries of the human heart." -The Vancouver Sun


"Livingston succeeds gorgeously in capturing the messiness and unresolvable ambiguities of familial love. Her lovingly drawn, half-crazy characters always transcend a caseworker's clichés." -National Post

"--intelligent and touching--Livingston resists easy sentimentality at every turn." -The Toronto Star


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Bibliographic Details

Title: Going Down Swinging
Publisher: Vintage Canada
Publication Date: 2000
Book Condition: Fair

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