My Dead Parents by Anya Yurchyshyn

My Dead Parents

“In this beautifully written, poignant, honest, and unflinching work, the author takes readers with her on her journey through grief and discovery as she finds out – for good or ill – who her parents really were.” - Library Journal (starred review)Anya Yurchyshyn grew up in a narrow townhouse in Boston, every corner filled with the souvenirs of her parents’ adventurous international travels. On their trips to Egypt, Italy, and Saudi Ara...

Details My Dead Parents

TitleMy Dead Parents
Release DateMar 27th, 2018
PublisherCrown Publishing Group (NY)
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Biography, Biography Memoir

Reviews My Dead Parents

  • Julie
    My Dead Parents by: A Memoir by Anya Yurchyshyn is a 2018 Crown publication. The blurb for this book intrigued me. What would it be like to discover your parents were nothing like you thought they were? What would happen if you discovered your father’s death might have been more than a tragic accident? I confess, I did have a few preconceived notions about this book. I thought the book would be centered mainly around Anya’s investigation into...
  • Kelli
    On average I choose to abandon two books a year. This year, this is the second in a month. Both were on lists of must read books, which indicates that others really enjoyed them. I wasn’t enjoying this memoir to the point where I really didn’t want to pick it up at all. My heart hurts for the author. Very sad story but I felt like a weight was lifted when I returned it to the Library.
  • Valerity (Val)
    I found this to be a wonderfully written book about a young woman who, after her mother dies a lonely death from alcoholism, begins cleaning out her home. Going through her personal papers she comes across a pile of letters written by her parents during a time they were apart before they were married and were in different cities. Her father's parents objected to the match and were trying to keep them from seeing one another because she wasn't Ukr...
  • Michelle
    ‘My Dead Parents: A Memoir” is a deeply compelling debut, written by Anya Yurchyshyn. Anya explores her dysfunctional family history related to her parent’s marriage that ended when her father was killed while he was living and working in the Ukraine. Anya would wonder if they had ever actually loved each other, they seemed so mismatched and unhappily married. Anya found her parents love letters written in the 1970’s that revealed a deep ...
  • Nancy
    3.5Anya Yurchyshyn's book My Dead Parents takes us on her journey from a child's view of her parents, and after their deaths, discovering their secret history of love and loss.The author begins with telling us her experience growing up in a dysfunctional family. Her parents were brilliant, yet her father was judgemental and often angry, and her mother was often distant and disapproving. She was a teenager when her father moved abroad to start bus...
  • Christina
    Overall, an excellent memoir. Well-written, immersive, and emotional. This woman's journey overtook my last two days. I will post a more in-depth review closer to publication date, but I will definitely be recommending this book. I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    Via my blog:'Ukraine sounded like a setting for a dark fairy tale that offered no magic or redemption, a place that had nothing to do with me.'It’s a strange sort of life for American born children with parents who come from other countries. The stories our parents share are nothing we can fully grasp, having never been at the mercy of losing our freedoms, yearning for a culture you had to leave behind, ou...
  • Kathleen
    This memoir begins with the author's experience growing up with her parents and her admitted lack of respect for them. She shows an unflattering part of herself and her parents that makes the first part of the book extremely compelling. After losing both of her parents by the age of 32, she begins to find letters written by her father that show a side of him she's never seen. What follows is a deep dive into her parents history to reconstruct the...
  • Danielle Mootz
    Okay so. I had just received this book when my father fell very ill and was brought home in hospice care. I began reading it after he passed on Christmas Day. There is little similarity between the relationship Anya had with her parents but so much in common as I navigated my grief by seeking to understand who my father was before me. As Anya sought answers from the Ukraine, I sought answers from the shores of Vietnam revealing my father's time t...
  • Sue Dix
    I am reviewing an ARC of this memoir. This is about Anya and her tumultuous relationship with her parents and her complete dissociation from them. After their deaths, as she is clearing her mother’s house, she learns about her parent’s life together and has to rethink everything about them and her relationship with each of them. It is at times, gut wrenching, but always engaging.
  • Maudaevee
    This was so intriguing and intimate, everything I want in a memoir.
  • Sarah
    This was not what I expected. It's a little different as far as memoirs go. It's kind of a autobiography with a little bit of history thrown in. After the death of her mother, Anya finds love letters written by her parents to each other. She begins to reconsider how she see's her parents. Instead of viewing them as just her parents, she begins to view them as people, with desires, fears, and goals for the future. She had a difficult childhood, wh...
  • Jill Meyer
    Why do people chose to write memoirs? After many years of reading memoirs, I come to believe that the authors are trying to understand their lives and the people and events in them. That's certainly the case of Anya Yurchyshyn and her remarkable parents, George and Anita, who died and left Anya and her sister with questions that seemingly had no answers. "Remarkable" people are not easy to live with. In Anya's case, her father George had fled Ukr...
  • Deb
    Thank you to First To Read and Penguin Random House for the ARC of My Dead Parents. I love memoirs, however, I did not even like this one. I couldn’t connect with Anya who seemed really disrespectful growing up but at the same time judging her parents. Sure they did plenty wrong but so did she. Because I couldn’t connect or even like the author, I didn’t care about her parents stories one little bit. I felt it was poorly written and a mess ...
  • Janilyn Kocher
    My Dead Parents is a memoir written by the youngest daughter. She describes a childhood inundated with a demanding, largely absentee father and a mother increasingly spiraling into extreme alcoholism. After both parents' deaths, the author pieces together the story of her parents' lives, their marriage, and begins to see and comprehend more than she had before. In the end, I think she made peace with the difficulties of her past and came to accep...
  • Carolyn Chambers
    Thanks to First to Read for access to a pre-publication galley of My Dead Parents. The first 1/3 of the memoir was difficult to read as Anya describes growing up with her verbally/emotionally abusive father George and her neglectful alcoholic mother Anita. Unsurprisingly, Anya’s dysfunctional upbringing results in her becoming a sullen, challenging teenager who rejects her parents in retaliation for their treatment of her. I initially found it ...
  • Meag McKeron
    Anya’s search for who her parents were outside of her own lens as their daughter was both well-written and fascinating. Her journey to get to know her parents after their deaths leads to a discovery that I think many children should take to heart - that parents have lives outside of being parents and that as children, we often don’t see this until we grow older. Unfortunately for Anya, her parents died before she could come to this realizatio...
  • Tiffany
    Anya's childhood in Boston was anything but pleasant. Her father, George traveled constantly, living in foreign countries but she remembers him primarily distant and abusive before his death in the Ukraine by car accident. Her mother, Anita, an alcoholic who turned the notch up on her use after her husband's death, seemed indifferent to her children at best, resentful and demeaning as only some of the worst. Following Anita's death, Anya takes o...
  • Darcysmom
    I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review. As children we grow up thinking we know our parents. Of course we know them, we know them through the lens of our own childhood experiences. But do we really know them? This is the very question the author sets out to answer in the book My Dead Parents.After her mother's death, Anya takes on the task of cleaning out her mother's house. Amongst the old clothes...
  • Naina
    Thank you to First to Read for my free galley copy of My Dead Parents; I greatly appreciate it. I enjoyed Anya Yuchyshyn's memoir, which follows her through her journey of getting to know her parents after both of their deaths. After Anya's mother passes away, in part due to her alcoholism, Anya begins going through her parents' things and discovers journals, photographs, and love letters that she had never seen, containing information that was n...
  • Debra Pawlak
    I received an Advance Reading Copy (ARC) from in return for a fair review. Unfortunately, this book was not my cup of tea, but it did have its redeeming qualities--especially near the end. As children, we often see our parents through narrow tunnel vision. We don't see them as distinct individuals with dreams, desires and personalities outside of our own perspective. This book is a good reminder that parents are people, too--not jus...
  • Jordan Finch
    My Dead Parents is an interesting memoir that focuses on family dynamics and the realization that children can never completely know their parents. Overall, this was just an okay read for me. Anya's story is tragic yet also cathartic. Reading about her father's verbal and emotional abuse and her mother's descent into alcoholism is depressing, but interspersed with that is hope and love corresponding with Anya's discovery of her parents' past as s...
  • Rebecca Foster
    The author’s Ukrainian father, a banker, died in a car accident in 1994; her mother, once the volunteer International Vice President of the Sierra Club, died of complications of alcoholism in 2010. When she thought back to her parents’ life together, she remembered photos and souvenirs they brought back from her father’s business travels in Africa and the Middle East. But after their deaths, when she read their early love letters, she felt ...
  • Irene O'Hare
    I got this for free through Penguin's First to Read program. I thought Yurchyshyn's memoir was both enthralling and moving. She writes with honesty and candidness about her experience of her parents growing up and of discovering who her parents who as people after their deaths. The earlier chapters about her rough childhood are interesting but heartbreaking, she was by no means an easy, happy child but it seems she didn't receive the kind of love...
  • Danielle
    This story is about loss, identity, grief, truth and closure. The story just sucked you in from the very beginning and kept you till the very end. The words expressed on the page clearly showed how invested the author was into writing her story from her perspective and that the way we perceive the world through our eyes and mind don't necessarily correlate with others. That truth is often blurred by one's experience. She went to seek out the answ...
  • Caitlin
    Thanks to first reads through penguin for gifting me an ARC of this book.This memoir was beautifully written and had me glued to the pages, wanting to know more about these fascinating people. Anya lived a very interesting life, although very tragic at times. I loved getting to know her parents and that she took us along for the ride as she strives to discover who her parents truely were before she knew them. And the added mystery of what happene...
  • Ken
    This was a great book! I enjoyed it very much. The book starts out with the author, Anya telling the story of her childhood. Her family life growing up was dysfunctional. Her relationship with both parents was not good. After her parents die, she comes across some letters from her parents to each other. The people who wrote these letters, in no way resembled the parents that raised her. Anya sets out to find out who her parents really were before...
  • Jerica
    The author was raised by an absentee, yet demanding father and an alcoholic mother. When her father passes away in a car accident, her mother spirals even further into her addiction and eventually passes away. When cleaning up her mother’s apartment, she finds letters and journals that teach her about what life was like before she was born. From there, embarks on a journey of learning more and more her parents and the family that came before th...
  • Julie Overpeck aka Mrs. O's Library
    #Netgalley #partner. I was given a digital advanced copy in return for my honest opinion.This is not the book I thought it was going to be. I expected more about what the author's father accomplished amidst the corruption of Ukraine, or the optimism that made her mother volunteer to work nearly full-time for the Sierra Club. Most of the book was devoted to Yurshyshyn’s childhood, though, and the failings of Anita and George as parents. At times...
  • Jenny
    This memoir encompasses the author's memories of her parents- first expressed from a child's perspective and then as a adult able to reflect on their lives separately from her own. The book reflects the author's maturing stance towards her parents which unfortunately came after their deaths. Despite her rants & anger towards her father and mother, the following quote captures the essence of the writings- "I realized that wanting to know them bett...