Barefoot to Avalon by David Payne

How does one separate oneself as an adult from the well of loneliness and anger that is so often the stuff of childhood? How does one love a sibling with whom one has long competed—whether in sports or for a mother’s love—especially if said sibling is bipolar? How does one plug the resultant black hole in one’s soul? With family? With words? With silence? With alcohol? David Payne, in his searching, shockingly honest memoir, digs deep into his own psyche for the answers to these anguished questions. Each painful admission wrenched from his memory or from present failures is not just an unblinking examination of the stew of rage and love that resides in his breast and in the breasts of his family, but a mirror into the soul of each of us. – Betsy Burton