"In a gripping story that spans four generations of women in her family, Elizabeth Wilcox details the enduring effects of early traumatic events they experienced. This book makes it clear how a greater emphasis on prevention and treatment of early trauma in children can make the difference between a life of depression and dysfunction and a more hopeful outcome."
I picked up The Long Tail of Trauma on a Saturday morning and did not put it down until I read the last page on Sunday night. At that point, I felt I actually knew the people in the story, so intimate and honest was the author's portrayal of them and their struggles. It is difficult to categorize this book, for while it is a memoir, it is also a scientific study of inherited trauma. It proves that, if you are a daughter, you cannot outrun your mother's pain (or her mother's and all the way down the maternal line), anymore than you can outrun your own shadow. You are her and she is you. It is fascinating, really. Wilcox's book prompts us to look at our mothers, our grandmothers and our daughters with new eyes. In listening closely to our mother's stories, we can understand things about ourselves, our behaviors and our fears, that never made sense before. Not only is the The Long Tail of Trauma, interesting in terms of psychology, the prose is gorgeous as well. With great skill, Wilcox transports us back in time and vividly depicts how harrowing life was for mothers and children during the two world wars. I felt I was there. I highly recommend this book.
"This is a gorgeous and heart-wrenching story of mothers, daughters and the reverberations of trauma through generations. At the same time, it is an illuminating history of a family experience of World War and its aftermath."
"We all have generational stories, but often we have not connected the hereditary emotional effects. Nurture or nature? This book brings difficult questions to the fore that we should be asking of our own families and lives."
"A poignant memoir scaffolded by direct references to the growing body of research into the long term impacts of ‘toxic stress’ and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE). Wilcox beautifully weaves together the lives and voices of three generations of strong, complex mothers and daughters, and in the process takes the reader on her own journey into the power of empathy, science and personal storytelling to shift the patterns of inherited trauma. "
It gives a new perspective to better understand the dynamics between mothers and daughters that may prove to be helpful to others in their own familial relationships."
"I love your book. It has made me realize how much I love my mum but find it so hard to express it."
"I just finished your memoir. It is so beautifully written. So poignant. It touched me deeply."
"The story you tell could, of course, only have impact. Good for you for creating something new and valuable."
"An important investigation of trauma made all the more powerful by Wilcox's powerful narrative."
"It takes a skillful writer to tell an engaging story that is one part historical drama, one part psychological analysis, while also an intensely personal memoir."