Eileen Cronin’s Mermaid: A Memoir of Resilience ($26.95) is a gorgeously crafted memoir about resilience, family, and forging your own way, written by a woman born without legs. Reflecting with grace and humor on her youth, search for love, and quest for answers that pitted her against her mother, Cronin spins a shimmering story of self-discovery and transformation.
In later years, as her mother battled mental illness and denied having taken the drug thalidomide known to cause birth defects Cronin felt apart from her family. After the death of a close brother, she turned to alcohol. Eventually, however, she found the strength to set out on her own, volunteering at hospitals and earning a PhD in clinical psychology.