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Boot Language
From a young age, Vanya Erickson became fluent in two languages. The language of her Christian Scientist mother dripped with honeyed versions of the truth. Her rancher father’s words, hard as the scrape of his boot heels, stung like the back of his hand. From the outside, Vanya’s childhood seemed idyllic: riding horses with her father in the solitude of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and attending flamboyant operas with her mother in the city. But life for Vanya and her family turned dark when WWII ghosts from her father’s service on a Pacific destroyer tore her family apart.
Laura Davis, best-selling author of A Courage to Heal

“Erickson seamlessly weaves tension and lyrical beauty into every scene, playing my emotions as a reader perfectly. The result is a fantastic read.”

Quinne Salameh, social worker

As a Clinical Social Worker, I’m always interested in the human experience. This powerful memoir offers insight into a profound life resilient to a collision of familial power dynamics. Vanya writes vividly of how her connection to nature, animals, and the kinder souls in her life help inform her survival through trauma, religious extremism, and dueling landscapes. Reading it called me to the mountains, put pits in my stomach, and rode me through both freedom and imprisonment all at once. The way it builds creates the feeling that you go from reader to family member and you end up relying on Vanya to carry you through her existence to emotional survival. A wonderful book to get lost in, and glean strength from.

Sheila Coonerty, PhD, psychologist, Bookshop Santa Cruz family

“Erickson’s real gift is her utter honesty and clarity about pain and evil in this world and each of their intersections with love.” 

Susan Sutliff Brown, PhD, publishing James Joyce scholar

“It’s always a supreme pleasure to be shaken by the emotional earthquake of a master storyteller. Erickson is an original.” 

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