When eight-year-old Leah’s parents get divorced, her mother, Cessie, flees her conventional life as a suburban housewife in search of a glamorous big city career in journalism. In the chaotic years that follow Cessie lurches from one apartment, job and toxic romance to the next, with her adoring daughter in tow. Cessie describes her parenting style as ‘benign neglect’ and their family motto ‘Commitment sucks the life right out of you’ is tacked up on every rental fridge.
In the aftermath of a disturbing sexual experience at a pool party, Leah finds herself crippled with anxiety. When she confides in her mother, Cessie makes an astonishing disclosure in turn, one that alters everything: from the age of twelve to fifteen she was in a clandestine relationship with her middle-aged, married riding instructor. The damage inflicted by the ‘Horseman’, Cessie explains, is the reason for all her regrettable life choices – marriage, divorce and even motherhood itself.
Both women spend the ensuing decades haunted by the spectre of the Horseman, until they decide to investigate what became of him – an ill-conceived quest that will test the bonds of love and redefine their relationship forever.
Written with unflinching candour and wit, Where You End and IBegin explores the dark reverberations of victim narratives and the power of filial love.