House of Fire

Work 519House of Fire shows that thirty years of breaking free from the cycle of violence was not enough to prepare me for the trials of starting my own healthy family. The challenge of creating a home of love, safety, and joy is loaded with dysfunctional ghosts and dark memories from the Wisconsin farm where I was raised. Growing up in the 1970s, I suffered repeated sexual abuse from my older brothers. Although we were members of the Catholic Church, I was forced to have a hushed-up abortion after I was impregnated at age fourteen by one of my brothers.  Within a year I was pregnant again, by another brother. I gave birth to a son who was quickly taken away from me and adopted into a family I never knew. Despite a range of these and other disturbing events—including a series of strange fires, one of which burned down our home, supplying the title of this book - my memoir is not a tale of woe. My story traces how I emerged from the past with healing, grace and a determination to create my own family. My partner, Jody, and I adopted two Guatemalan babies. We learned that provision and protection were not enough to create true family. Refusal to allow denial and secrets to go unexposed becomes critical. House of Fire describes how Jody and I intentionally created a safe healthy family.

2 thoughts on “House of Fire

  1. Julie gabert (kolve)

    My name is Julie gabert ( kolve) n I was a good friend of Elizabeth’s when we were in our teens. I would so desperately like to get in contact with her again. If anyone can help, my phone # is 651-206-9749. Thank you

    1. Post author

      It was very nice to get together, Julie. Thanks for being my friend then and now. Crazy times. I’m glad we have connected.


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