Going Down Swinging

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Random House of Canada, May 14, 2010 - Fiction
9 Reviews
A remarkable debut novel and bittersweet tale of the unflinching love and devotion between a mother and daughter.Razor sharp and darkly funny Going Down Swinging chronicles two years in the life of the Hoffmans. Eilleen Hoffman has just told Danny, her con-artist lover and father of her youngest daughter Grace, to get out — for good. Once a teacher, Eilleen lived a middle-class life, but her taste in men coupled with a predilection for pills and booze has brought her down. Desperate to prevent her family from sinking deeper into poverty, Eilleen reluctantly goes on welfare. Eventually she turns to the only friends she has left, hustlers and hookers, to learn how a woman makes fast money, no investment necessary.With Eilleen on welfare and her older daughter Charlotte a teenaged runaway, child welfare authorities descend on the Hoffmans. As Eilleen trails through several attempts at drying out, the well-intentioned Children's Protection Society finally intervenes to apprehend Grace. With the threat of prolonged separation now a stark reality, Eilleen and Grace must rally to confront their demons with grit, determination and humour. Unblinkingly observed and brilliantly written, Going Down Swinging is about the powerful bond between mother and child. And with her skilful narrative interplay, Billie Livingston illustrates poignantly how the truth of our stories lies not so much in the black and white, as it does in the grey.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

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Review: Going Down Swinging

User Review  - Denise MacDonald - Goodreads

I found this to be a very emotional book. I don't know how anyone who hasn't been a part of the child protection system could write such an accurate portrayal of it. Every character in this book was ... Read full review

Review: Going Down Swinging

User Review  - Julie - Goodreads

A remarkable debut novel and bittersweet tale of the unflinching love and devotion between a mother and daughter. Razor sharp and darkly funny Going Down Swinging chronicles two years in the life of ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Praise for Going Down Swinging
Eilleen OneNOVEMBER 1972
Grace OneAPRIL 1973
Eilleen TwoMAY 1973
Grace TwoJUNE 1973
Eilleen ThreeJULYAUGUST 1973
Grace ThreeJULYAUGUST 1973
Eilleen FourOCTOBER 1973 VANCOUVER
Grace NineNOVEMBER 1974
Eilleen EightNOVEMBER 197
Eilleen NineNOVEMBER 1974
Grace TenNOVEMBER 1974
Grace ElevenDECEMBER 1974
Eilleen TenDECEMBER 1974
Grace TwelveDECEMBER 1974
Eilleen ElevenDECEMBER 1974

Grace FourFEBRUARYMARCH 1974
Grace FiveMARCHAPRIL 1974
Eilleen FiveJUNE 1974
Grace SixAUGUSTSEPTEMBER 1974
Eilleen SixSEPTEMBER 1974
Grace SevenOCTOBER 1974
Eilleen SevenOCTOBER 1974
Grace EightOCTOBER 1974
Grace ThirteenDECEMBER 1974
Eilleen TwelveDECEMBER 1974
Grace FourteenDECEMBER 1974
Grace FifteenDECEMBER 1974
Eilleen ThirteenDECEMBER 1974
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
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About the author (2010)

Billie Livingston has published short fiction and poetry in journals and magazines in Canada, the UK, US and Australia. She worked on this novel while in residence at the Banff Centre and the UCROSS Foundation in Wyoming. Born in Toronto, now living in Vancouver, over the years Livingston has had short stints as a waitress, courier, office temp, model and gardener.


From the Hardcover edition.

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