Magic of Memoir Blog Tour: Boot Language by Vanya Erickson

We are thrilled to be part of BookSparks “Magic of Memoir” blog tour. We will be reading and reviewing five very different memoirs over the next two months.

Our first book is called Boot Language by Vanya Erickson.

When I read the back cover and found out that Vanya was raised with a mother who was a Christian Scientist, I knew this would be interesting. By a strange coincidence, my very good friend was also raised as a Christian Scientist and I have had quite a few conversations with her about growing up in her faith, what they believe in, etc.

About the Book:

From the outside, Vanya’s childhood looked idyllic: she rode horses with her father in the solitude of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and attended flamboyant operas with her mother in the city. But life for Vanya and her family turned dark when ghosts from her father’s service on a Pacific destroyer in World War II tore her family apart. 

Set in postwar California, this is the story of a girl who tried to make sense of her parents’ unpredictable actions―from being left to lie in her own blood-soaked diaper while her Christian Scientist mother prayed, refusing to get medical help to watching her father writhe on his bed in the detox ward, his hands and feet tethered with leather straps―by immersing herself in the beauty and solitude of the wilderness around her. It was only decades later, when memories began to haunt her, that Vanya was able to look back with unflinching honesty and tender compassion for her family and herself. In this elegant, haunting narrative, Erickson invites us to witness it all―from the gripping, often disturbing, truths of her childhood to her ultimate survival.

About the Author

Vanya Erickson used to photograph and haul horses for a living. For the last twenty-five years she has been mentoring teachers while teaching writing and public speaking in the oldest continuously used schoolhouse in California. She loves hiking the High Sierras and coastal redwood forests, as well as dramatically reading aloud to children―especially her granddaughter and grandniece. Erickson holds a BA in comparative literature and a teaching credential from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Her essays have appeared in a dozen literary journals and anthologies, and in the book The Magic of Memoir.

Find out more about her at

Thank you to Courtney at BookSparks for coordinating this amazing blog tour. We’ve gotten a peek at the rest of the books and trust me, they are all AH-mazing!