Walk On Water
Book: Walk On Water , by Lorian Hemingway, ISBN10: 0156007096, ISBN13: 9780156007092, Harcourt, September 1999, Paperback
From catfishing in Mississippi as a young girl to battling marlin in the Caribbean, Lorian Hemingway has always felt most comfortable with a fishing pole in hand. But for many years, it was alcohol that held prominence in her life, almost causing her to drown in the family legacy. Walk on Water is Lorian Hemingway's amazing story of how her one true passion-fishing-saved her life. With humor and startling honesty, Hemingway wryly acknowledges how fishing is more than a metaphor for her salvation-it allowed her to feel connected to something as a child, living with her alcoholic mother and abusive stepfather. It helped her to heal after a to-hell-and-back fight for sobriety. And it led her to the discovery that family consists not necessarily of the people you are born with, but of those you choose to let into your heart. From despair to hope, from loss to recovery, Walk on Water is a remarkable tale of strength told by a born storyteller.
In this raw, to-hell-and-back memoir the enormously talented granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway describes, among other things, how she has fished some of the watersþKey West, the Big Two-Hearted Riverþher grandfather loved, and battled the same self-destructive alcoholism that haunted him. Hemingway's often hard life formed the framework for her first novel, Walking Into the River (1992). Like the protagonist in that tale, she had a drunken, dissolute mother and an abusive stepfather, a man she despised. Aunt Freda, the family member she is closest to, once even took a shot at him. Hemingway describes herself as a "dark child," one adults regarded "as they would a rabid Chihuahua." She had a penchant for eating anything from night crawlers to river mud. Her parents divorced when she was six. A rebellious teenager, she ran away and secretly contacted her father, Gregory. Ernest Hemingway's youngest son suffered severe depression and, as she discovered, "liked to dress in women's clothes." By early adulthood, Hemingway had done jail time, been "raped and dumped in a backwoods in Georgia," spent time in drug rehab, sold drugs, stolen cars, and ridden "with baby-eating bikers." She married and had a child in the 1970s, but drinkingþand her obsession with fishingþwould continue to plague her. Deep-sea fishing became a passion, and in 1980 she founded a tournament in Key West. A "bombastic, conscience-free, ego-driven alcoholic," she would fish the Big Two-Hearted River on assignment for a magazine but, as often happened, her drinking nearly ruined the trip. A feisty, dying Aunt Freda offered her a freezerful of home-grown, medicinal marijuana, not to smoke but to sellso that she could pay for treatment for her alcoholism. Hemingway's brief but harrowing description of her stay in a detoxification center in January 1988 and her joy at "being free" of the addiction climaxes this frank, powerful memoir.
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