When She Comes Back is an absolutely amazing, yet heartbreaking memoir. The strength of Ronit throughout this story is amazing, and it speaks volumes to the determination to overcome that she had.
Her story takes us through her parental abandonment of her and her absolutely devastating childhood. Ronit provides a view of her life through the lens of hope rather than devastation though, which makes this emotional read one that provides an uplifting feeling for the reader.
This is a beautiful story that I highly recommend!
Where to Find This Book:
Ronit was six years old when her mother left her and her four-year-old sister for India to follow a guru. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, whose commune was responsible for the largest biological attack on U.S. soil, preached that children were hindrances and encouraged sterilizations among his followers. Luckily Ronit’s father, who’d left the family the previous year, stepped up and brought the girls to live with him first in Newark, New Jersey, and later in Flushing, Queens. On the surface, his nurturing was the balm Ronit sought, but she soon paid a second emotional price, taking on the role of partner and confidant to him, and substitute mother to her sister. By the end of her childhood, Ronit would discover she had lost her mother and the close and trusting relationship she once had with her father. Though they have now reconciled, for years she grappled with the toll her mother’s leaving took, measuring her self-worth and capacity for love by that absence.
When She Comes Back is the story of a family trying to find itself, grownups who don’t know how to be adults, and what happens when the person your life revolves around can’t stay. It’s also a story of resilience and reconciliation, how rejection by the most important person in Ronit’s life ultimately led to an unflagging commitment to, and love for her own children.
Just the Facts:
When She Comes Back by Ronit Plank
Publisher: Motina Books
Pub Date: May 9, 2021
Ronit Plank is the author of WHEN SHE COMES BACK a coming-of-age memoir about the loss of her mother to the guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh to be released May 2021. Her essays have been featured in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The HuffPost, and The Rumpus among others and her short stories have won prizes and/or special mention in The Iowa Review, American Literary Review, Narrative Magazine, Third Coast Magazine, and Hunger Mountain. Her short story collection HOME IS A MADE-UP PLACE won Hidden River Arts’ 2020 Eludia Award for fiction and will be published by Sowilo Press in early 2022.
She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Nonfiction from Pacific University and is the host and creator of the award-winning podcast And Then Everything Changed featuring interviews with survivors, authors, and thought leaders about the pivotal moments in their lives and decisions that have defined them.
I was provided a gifted copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.