Boot Language

A Memoir

Non-Fiction - Memoir
192 Pages
Reviewed on 09/20/2018
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Author Biography

Vanya Erickson is the award-winning author of Boot Language, A Memoir. Long ago, she used to photograph and haul horses for a living. But for the last 25 years, she has been mentoring teachers while teaching writing and public speaking in the oldest, continuously used schoolhouse in California. She’s passionate about hiking the High Sierras as well as dramatically reading aloud to children. Vanya holds a BA in Comparative Literature as well as a Teaching Credential, both from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Her essays have appeared in a dozen literary journals and anthologies. Find out more about Vanya at
2019 WINNER Next Generation Indie Book Award (Overcoming Adversity/Tragedy)
2019 SILVER Benjamin Franklin Award (for Best New Voice)
2019 SILVER Readers Favorites Award (Memoir)
2019 FINALIST Indie Excellence Award (Memoir as well as Regional Nonfiction: The West)
2019 FINALIST International Book Awards (Narrative Nonfiction)

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jessyca Garcia for Readers' Favorite

Boot Language: A Memoir by Vanya Erickson left me feeling sad. In this memoir, Erickson tells about her childhood. She grew up with an alcoholic father, who seemed to hate her, and a mother who refused to seek medical help for her children due to her religion. It was not an easy life but somehow Erickson got through it. Boot Language is the type of book that makes you look at your own childhood and appreciate what you had. Erickson's story left me feeling unsatisfied. I felt that she too was unsatisfied with how her relationship with her father ended.

My heart hurt for her at how she was treated by her father. I wondered if he treated her badly because somehow she was not his biological daughter. I even thought that her mother would reveal some dark secret during the car ride that they took together. There had to be some reason that she was treated so differently from her siblings. I started off by liking Erickson's mom, but lost all respect for her when she did not handle the stranger touching Erickson improperly. My feelings for her lessened even more with how she treated her children after moving back to the city.

My favorite part of the story was when Erickson finally was able to stand up for herself. I was so proud of her. Overall, I liked this story, even though it left me feeling sad. I am glad that Erickson has had some happiness in her life and was able to have a special bond with horses. I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.