A Daughter, a Domme, and an End-of-Life Story

Non-Fiction - Memoir
296 Pages
Reviewed on 03/16/2020
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Author Biography

Elizabeth Anne Wood is Chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work and a SUNY Chancellors Award-winning Professor of Sociology at Nassau Community College in Garden City, NY. She is also Senior Strategist for Woodhull Freedom Foundation, the nation’s only human rights organization working full time to protect sexual freedom as a fundamental human right. She earned her Ph.D. at Brandeis University in 1999 for a study of gender, power, and social interaction in strip clubs, and has written critically about sexuality and society ever since.

Her first book, Bound: A Daughter, A Domme, and an End-of-Life Story, (She Writes Press, August 13, 2019) uses the transformative power of personal story-telling to expand the space for conversations between parents and their adult children, between caregivers and those who need them, and between health care providers and patients about the two things we still have such trouble discussing plainly: sex and death. These are not gratuitous conversations. The quality of life, and the quality of death, we can expect as we age depends on them.

Born on an Army base in Kentucky, she grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and now divides her time between Queens, New York and Jamaica Plain, Boston. She is a devoted fan of Amtrak, and an avowed cat person.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

Bound: A Daughter, a Domme, and an End-of-Life Story by Elizabeth Anne Wood is an honest memoir that takes readers on an emotional ride through the last eight months of her mother’s life. The author is a sociology professor who is startled when she discovers that her mother, who hasn’t been in a relationship for decades, has started seeing men who want to be dominated and who are into kinky sex — bound, sexually dominated, whipped… But the worst news is when her mom is diagnosed with cancer and it eventually develops into a condition that forces her to face her end.

The threads that bind the events together and establish the balance in this narrative are strong, and the author explores themes that are challenging — a mother’s different sex life, her terminal illness, and impending death. With unusual clarity, compassion, and candor, Elizabeth Anne Wood shares her relationship with her mother towards the end of her life and offers commentaries and insights into life that prompt readers to reflect on the quality of their own lives, some nagging social issues, and the health system. It is compelling and absorbing and the reader is drawn into the emotional roller-coaster, following the author as she deals with difficult choices, the hospital, and trying to make sense of the situation.

Woven into the memoir are thoughts and insights that will inspire readers to traverse uncertain moments of life with their feet planted on the ground. Elizabeth Anne Wood’s writing is crisp and engaging, her compassionate voice comes across as a powerful force in the story, and her ability to transform a real-life situation into an engaging story is exceptional. Bound: A Daughter, a Domme, and an End-of-Life Story is told with courage and utter honesty, inspiring and filled with humanity.