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Barefoot to Avalon by David Payne
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Barefoot to Avalon

by David Payne

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Charismatic, good-looking, intelligent, sweetly sly - what could go wrong? In David Payne’s Barefoot to Avalon…everything.

In this extraordinarily raw memoir, Payne gives readers glimpses of what could be anyone’s life and family, jam-packed with dysfunction. Beginning the read, my assumption due to the title was that the book would be a memoir of a brother dealing only with the difficulties of another brother, whose successful life took an abrupt and devastating decline. But that quickly changed to more of …A Brothers’ Story, revealing deep cracks and crevices of each brother, to include their parents as well as various extended family members, which helped to explain destiny.

Throughout, Payne recounts his life away from George A., but always with that familial attachment — ahh! heredity tendencies. At times shocking, Payne’s gritty, tough truths about himself leads to a [possibly] better understanding, if not an uncomfortable honesty, regarding oneself, the reader.

With much gut-wrenching work through therapy, Payne has renewed himself, to sustain a more fulfilling life. However, the one story that remains forever unchanged is George A.’s. ( )
  Amethyst26 | Sep 30, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802123546, Hardcover)

“A defining voice for his generation…Payne is extraordinarily gifted—Boston Globe

In 2000, while moving his household from Vermont to North Carolina, author David Payne watched from his rearview mirror as his younger brother, George A., driving behind him in a two-man convoy of rental trucks, lost control of his vehicle, fishtailed and flipped over in the road. David’s life hit a downward spiral. From a cocktail hour indulgence, his drinking became a full-blown addiction. His career entered a standstill. His marriage disintegrated. He found himself haunted not only by George A.’s death, but also by his brother’s manic depression, a condition that overlaid a dark family history of mental illness, alcoholism and suicide, an inherited past that now threatened David’s and his children’s futures. The only way out, he found, was to write about his brother.

Barefoot to Avalon is Payne’s earnest and unflinching account of George A. and their boyhood footrace that lasted long into their adulthood, defining their relationship and their lives. As universal as it is intimate, this is an exceptional memoir of brotherhood, of sibling rivalries and sibling love, and of the torments a family can hold silent and carry across generations. Barefoot to Avalon is a brave and beautifully wrought gift, a true story of survival in the face of adversity.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 14 Jul 2015 22:29:35 -0400)

After witnessing his younger brother's tragic death in an auto accident in 2000, the author found that his life was spiraling out of control. From a cocktail hour indulgence, his drinking became a full-blown addiction. His career entered a standstill. His marriage disintegrated. He was haunted not only by the accident, but also by the family history of mental illness, alcoholism and suicide. The only way out, he found, was to write about his brother. The result is an exceptional memoir of brotherhood, of sibling rivalries and sibling love, and of the torments a family can hold silent and carry across generations.… (more)

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