30 July 2014
Teaching the Cat to Sit
Theall, Michelle. Teaching the Cat to Sit: A Memoir.Gallery Books, 2014.
In alternating chapters, Theall tells the story of growing up in a very religious Catholic family and realizing that she is a lesbian while also telling the story of her son, Connor, and the choice she and her partner made to remove him from his Catholic preschool. Throughout her memoir, the theme of what makes a family - whether it be our family of origin or our family of choice - prevails.
As a lesbian who grew up in a very religious family, I can relate to Theall's story of her family's repeated rejection of her "lifestyle" as well as her struggle to reconcile the faith tradition she was raised in with her sexual orientation. Theall's story will ring true with many readers, and not just those among the LGBT community. This book would be an excellent addition to a public library's collection.
Recommended for: adults
Red Flags: Theall is raped by a neighbor when she is 11. The rape scene in this book is not graphic, but it is sudden, so readers who are abuse survivors should take gentle care in approaching this book.
Overall Rating: 5/5 stars
Read-Alike Suggestions: Rapture Practice: A True Story About Growing Up Gay in an Evangelical Family, Love Makes a Family