Society of Midland Authors Literary Award Finalist in Biography & Memoir
Award-winning journalist Michele Weldon provides a potent antidote to the harried single mom stereotype in this beguiling memoir of raising three sons alone in the face of cancer, an ambitious career, and the shadow of her ex.
Untethered from a seemingly idyllic life with a handsome but abusive attorney husband, Weldon relates the challenges and triumphs of the years that followed her divorce as she maneuvers through a complicated life of long daily commutes, radiation treatments, supporting the boys’ all-consuming high school wrestling careers, and trying to mitigate their hurt and resentment at an absent father.
By turns humorous and heartbreaking, Weldon describes facing her fears and failures honestly, guided by a belief in the power of staying calm, doing one’s best, and asking for help. She provides a graceful example of how a single mother, and her children, can succeed when others—neighbors, family, teachers, and in this case an incredible high school wrestling coach—step in to fill the void and she can stay the course with common sense and dutiful love.
About the Author
Michele Weldon is an assistant professor emerita at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a senior leader with the OpEd Project. A journalist for more than 35 years, Weldon’s work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, and others, and she is a frequent guest on radio and TV, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, NPR, and CNN. She is the author of I Closed My Eyes: Revelations of a Battered Woman ; Everyman News, winner of the National Federation of Press Women’s Best Nonfiction Book Award; and Writing to Save Your Life. She lives in the Chicago area.
“Michele Weldon’s memoir of raising three sons in the absence of their father brims with candor, humor, anger, and abundant tenderness. In the face of daunting challenges, mother and boys find grace and resilience from unexpected sources: the wrestling mat, and the extraordinary high school coach who redefines what makes a family.” —Nancy Horan, New York Times–bestselling author, Loving Frank and Under the Wide and Starry Sky
"With affable, heartfelt text, Weldon shares the intimate details of her trial-and-error parenting of three competitive wrestlers, each in varying stages of resentment over their father's heartless disinterest in them." —Kirkus Reviews
“There are so many things to admire about Escape Points. The honesty. The heart. The compulsive readability. I don’t know how Michele Weldon made wrestling, breast cancer, and single parenting tie together so naturally, so beautifully, but in fact each is a perfect metaphor for this book’s message of soulful triumph.” —Elizabeth Berg, New York Times bestselling author of The Dream Lover
“Escape Points is the riveting memoir of a mother and her sons, a compelling story of life, love, and family, told through the prism of the sport they adore, wrestling. Michele Weldon is a beautiful writer. This is a beautiful story.” —Christine Brennan, USA Today sports columnist and ABC News, CNN, and PBS commentator
“Journalist and single mother Weldon is the Everyperson voice of parents everywhere who are raising children on their own… for anyone who has been through a contentious divorce, or breast cancer, or child support battles, or kids’ wrestling matches and cauliflower ears or anything similar, Weldon’s voice will ring of truth and wisdom and hurt and, yes, the beauty of it all.” —Booklist
“Weldon’s honest reflections—sprinkled with humorous anecdotes—read like a stream of consciousness, somehow relating cancer, divorce and motherhood to sports, all the while maintaining a strong undertone of hope.” —West Suburban Living