It Hit Me Like a Ton of Bricks

A Memoir of a Mother and Daughter

by Catherine Lloyd Burns

Life is about loss... I've lost my brother, my husbands, my father, my's just one loss after another. So you might as well get used to it. So muses the narrator's mother in this poignant and humorous memoir about mothers and daughters.

Loss is a way of life for both Catherine and her mother. But where it made the daughter ravenous for contact, it made the mother lose her appetite for people. While the two always had a fierce attachment, by turns intimate and tumultuous, decades of fractious and contentious and frustrating interactions found a reprieve after the birth of Catherine's daughter, Olive. Witty and direct, weaving back and forth in time, the book charts the transformation of this volatile and unique mother-daughter relationship from longing to connection.

Praise for It Hit Me Like a Ton of Bricks:

It Hit Me Like a Ton of Bricks is written with such disarming honesty that it would be uncomfortably unsettling if it weren't tempered by equal doses of stunning wit. The story sneaks up on you and grabs you, and before you know it, it's tomorrow morning. Burns can flat-out write, and she does it with her eyes wide open, foot flat on the pedal, and all the windows down-it's an exhilarating read. I couldn't find a word out of place.

•  Alexandra Fuller, author of Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood.

Any reader, male or female, who has ever had a mother will be moved and vindicated by Catherine Burns. Her book is simultaneously funny, poignant, fractious, and beautifully observed, with a finely calibrated sympathy throughout. Burns is an indelible literary presence.

•  David Rakoff, author of Don't Get Too Comfortable and Fraud

Nicely mingling wit and wisdom, television actress Burns crafts a memoir about being a daughter, becoming a mother and coming to terms with the gap between what you want and what you get.

•  Kirkus Reviews ( stared review)

Burns's Prose is terrifically engaging and unfailingly humorous... this is a book that shows the reader what family really means, and how raising a child of your own can offer insight, patience, and, best of all, the capacity to forgive.

•  Naomi Rand, The Boston Globe

Hilariously Bighting

•  Vogue

[A] deeply honest and ultimately tender book.

•  Pam Houston, O, The Oprah Magazine

...complex, loving portrayal of the most important relationship in a woman's life.

•  Glamour

Catherine Lloyd Burns lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter. She wrote the film, Everything Put Together . As an actress, she has appeared on numerous television shows including Malcolm in the Middle , ER, Law and Order, and Al Franken's Lateline. Films include: The Baxter, Pushing Tin, Michael. This is her first book.

Catherine's email:

Catherine is available for public appearances and book club discussions. Please email: for more information.

To purchase the book, click here .