“The Hope in Leaving is an incredibly powerful offering, delivered with rare grace and strength given its painful subject matter. With it, Williams has proven the most powerful storytelling is that which trusts readers to feel its impact without instruction, and find meaning without guidance.”–Toronto Globe & Mail.
“Searingly honest, the book is a testimony to one woman’s resilience and ability to love in the face of unimaginable hardship. An unsentimentally candid memoir of hope and determination.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Authentic. Human. Unselfconscious. Beautifully crafted. The Hope in Leaving is a jewel of a book.” —Helen Hunt
“Barbara Williams is the daughter of wanderlust. She grew up in logging camps, skid roads, and temporary homes on Vancouver Island and mainland British Columbia. Her father was ‘Handsome Jack,’ the man who danced on tree-tops and was always saying goodbye. Indeed this is a book of leavings and disappearances where home is little more than a random path within the epic immensity and sorrow of the Pacific Northwest. In exquisite prose, always wary of self-pity, she tells the story of a brotherhood of semi-nomadic forest workers, their dangerous jobs and shattered families. The genre is deceptive: imagine a ‘coming of age story’ but written by John Steinbeck.” —Mike Davis
“Barbara Williams has written a breathtaking, ruthlessly poetic coming of stage; a memoir that reads more like a hardscrabble book of common prayer. Hope In Leaving is a born writer’s pure and savage plainsong, a ghost dance summoning family, hope, endurance, and the transcendence of love.”
“If you appreciate Mary Karr and Jeannette Walls, you’ll want to read Williams’s eloquent memoir of growing up in and out of the harsh lumber camps of British Columbia. In an honest, compelling voice devoid of self-pity, she tells of finding solace in nature’s beauty, of grasping for shards of love. Through this painful, riveting journey, the bright, curious child manages to grow into a resilient, hopeful artist.” —Jane Fonda