Getting Off the Radiator: A Story of Shame, Guilt, & Forgiveness
by Dorothy Preston
Dorothy Preston’s debut memoir, Getting Off the Radiator: A Story of Shame, Guilt, and Forgiveness, is the story of a child growing up in a twenty-eight-room mansion infested with roaches and overrun with hippies, thieves, drug abusers, alcoholics, and a murderer. The youngest of seven children abandoned by their father, Preston watched while her mother struggled to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads while also diving deeper into the bottle, standing in line for welfare, and renting rooms in their home for income. Given the cast of characters who passed through the house and the absence of parental guidance, the family lived the life of a twisted fairy tale in which shame, guilt, and anger played leading roles. Preston recounts her journey through childhood into adulthood, her years waging battles with her difficult past, overcoming adversity, practicing forgiveness, and cherishing the love of a family whose bonds cannot be broken. Beautifully written and accompanied by intimate family photographs, this is a memoir that breaks open what it means to live with a difficult past while struggling to embrace a hopeful future.
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs
ISBN: 978-1-951651-86-2 (print; softcover; perfect bound)
Released June 2021
Dorothy Preston has a degree in communications/media and has worked in the publishing industry for over twenty years, including at Prentice Hall/Simon & Schuster, Houghton Mifflin, and Little Brown, to name a few. She has lived in Maine, New Hampshire, and New York, but is currently settled in her native state of Massachusetts in Johnny Appleseed country just outside of Boston. She and her husband recently purchased land in Downeast Maine, and are planning on settling there in the next few years. If Preston is not hiking, cycling, running, or skiing, she’s taking in the aroma of apples and tapping away on her computer at her house on the hill with her dog, Rylee. It is her hope that by sharing her journey with those who have gone through similar ordeals, others might learn that forgiveness truly is divine and along with it comes peace.
“Getting Off the Radiator is a bold and vivid memoir of family dysfunction and finding a way to rise above it. Without judgment or blame, Dorothy Preston dives deep into the familial, especially parental relationships that play such a key role in shaping us. This book will no doubt prove relatable and helpful to those who navigate challenging family forces while working toward a life of peace and love.
“Fascinating story of a fatherless family living in a 28-room mansion teetering on the edge of poverty. The mother, incapacitated by self-pity and alcoholism, spirals into a state of delusion and denial . . . This riveting story of the trials and tribulations of the Preston family bring laughter, pain, deep love, and forgiveness to the forefront.”
Janilyn Kocher, “Getting Off the Radiator: A Story of Shame, Guilt, & Forgiveness,” Story Circle Network, August 21, 2021
“I Have to Be Brave—with Dorothy Preston,” Ignorance Was Bliss (podcast), August 2021
“Getting Off the Radiator by Dorothy Preston,” ROC Metaphysical Book Reviews
Danielle Ray, Fitchburg author publishes memoir about her early life with her mother, Sentinel and Enterprise, July 10, 2021
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