Falling Through the Earth
Named one of the 10 best books of 2006 by the New York Times, this powerful memoir marks the debut of a promising new author. Trussoni was raised in Wisconsin by her overbearing, emotional, occasionally violent father, Dan. A Vietnam veteran who served as a tunnel rat during the war, Dan is haunted by his experiences and a bit too fond of the bottle as a result. A patron of Roscoe's, a local beer joint, he brings Danielle along to the bar most evenings. She soon begins cutting class and stealing. Meanwhile, her siblings a brother, Matt, and a sister, Kelly are being raised by her mom. Trussoni recounts her eventful adolescence years marked by family brawls, drug use and Dan's dark moods with unflinching honesty and humor. She eventually travels to Vietnam in an attempt to share in her father's experience there, and the passages about her journey are moving and profound. Trussoni's gradual acceptance of her flawed father will resonate with readers. The difficulties Dan goes through as he tries to come to grips with his years in Vietnam make for heart-wrenching, all too timely reading. This is one hell of a coming-of-age tale, told by a gifted writer who isn't afraid of self-exploration and who is brave enough to lay bare her own imperfections as she tries to achieve closure with her troubled family.