Twine: A Memoir by Dorriah Rogers – Book Review

by Dorriah Rogers
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Twine: A Memoir by Dorriah Rogers

How far would you go to overcome a dark and tragic legacy for a chance at redemption?

Composed from a collection of haunting and colorful memories, Twine chronicles the dark journey of a broken family spanning generations.

Sliding effortlessly between past and present, this is the story of Dorriah Burke—a girl raised among California avocados and a bewildering array of dysfunctional family members. As children, trapped between their alcoholic mother and violent father, Dorriah and her brother are faced with untenable choices and lives of ever-increasing lunacy and sorrow.

Now an adult, Dorriah finally escapes across the country with her own daughter in an attempt to restart her life, but the miles aren’t enough. Grief-stricken by her mother’s rapidly declining health, her father’s shocking choices, and her brother’s inability to help, she is forced to make a decision: unlock her past and her only hope to overcome her personal demons, or protect her only child from the dark labyrinth of her family history.

Twine is a seductive memoir of shocking narrative power and sweeping honesty. Written with a clever and profane wit and populated by unforgettable and profoundly relatable characters, it is a beautiful narrative that’s impossible to put down—a story of agony and loss, betrayal and love, survival and reinvention that never allows the reader to rest for an instant as the story ruthlessly hurtles towards its surprising conclusion.


An intimate, soul-stirring account, Twine: A Memoir shifts between Dorriah Rogers’s childhood and adulthood, revealing the devastating effects of alcoholism, anger, violence, child sexual abuse, neglect, illness, and more.

To Dorriah and her brother John, the presence of their father sparked fear. Instead of the man that the community regarded as a dedicated coach and father, his family saw a different person with a monster that lay within. Dorriah and John grew up on the receiving end of their father’s violent, horrific rage. His treatment of their mother was no different. Choosing to turn a blind eye to what her children were also going through and drown herself in alcohol, Dorriah and John had no one to turn to. Dorriah also fell victim to a sexual predator at a young age. Despite everything, she struggled through school and later battled breast cancer to build a life for her and her daughter. The brokenness Dorriah and John sustained during these years, however, would remain throughout their adulthood.

Moving between Dorriah’s current life and childhood, the memoir gives a full view of the effects of the trauma she and John endured. It also traces the genesis and development of the violence that rocked the family. Centered on the four family members, the memoir details the background of each parent and also covers the adult life of both Dorriah and John giving a comprehensive account of each character. The narration is straightforward, emotional, and powerful and includes striking descriptions of events and situations. It captures the feelings of the narrator and other characters, from their fear, disappointment, sadness, grief, confusion, happiness and others.

Candid and articulate, Twine: A Memoir by Dorriah Rogers is a remarkable well-written read and examines the effects of violence across generations. It is moving and insightful in equal measure. Twine: A Memoir by Dorriah Rogers comes highly recommended by Chick Lit Café. Book review by Edith Emunah for Chick Lit Café.

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