Confessions of Joan the Tall by Joan Cusack Handler & Giveaway (US/Canada)

Confessions of Joan the Tall by Joan Cusack Handler is a coming of age memoir from the point of view of twelve year old Joan. It is written in journal type entries as Joan recounts a period of time in her life as a young girl being raised in a devout Catholic home. It is a quirky and often amusing journal as we follow Joan through the troubled times of a teen.

Being young of course Joan is already confused about many things as most teens are but for Joan they seem multiplied as she also has to contend with her strict Catholic upbringing. And my goodness she has a lot of issues to deal with as she struggles with what is right and what is wrong as well as what is a sin and what isn’t. To top that off if it is a sin is it a really bad one or just a small one. It’s enough to drive a grown up crazy let alone a young girl.

Needless to say Joan is pretty focused on being Catholic and making sure she is doing what is right but it’s so hard sometimes because she does have bad thoughts and she can only hope God will forgive her. Then there are the other issues Joan has – primarily the fact that she is tall at five feet eleven and a half inches and boy it’s rough being a teen girl at that height. She is often teased because of it so understandably she is very self conscious.

Then there are her parents. Joan adores her father but her mother is a different story. She demands perfection and obedience and doesn’t tolerate any less from her children. For the most part they are all scared of her. Joan is her favorite but that isn’t always a good thing. She feels bad but she doesn’t want to be her mother’s favorite because that usually means betraying her siblings and she already has some problems with them.

I enjoyed this book for the most part. It’s a fast read and I did like Joan. I could look back to my teen years and remember how I felt and I could definitely feel Joan’s pain as I was always quite tall in my younger years as well. I also remember feeling as though my diary was the only place I could really let loose with my feelings. For Joan whose mother tells them that their friends should only be their family and that one should never air family business outside the home, her journal is all she has.

This book does focus on religion, not in an overwhelming way but in a way that shows how a young girl comes to terms with it in her life. Knowing a bit about being Catholic does help so that you know what Joan is talking about but it’s not necessary really. I think the biggest part of this book is just relating to Joan and her struggles and we can all do that. I do feel that if you were brought up Catholic though that you will likely find this a very endearing journey to take with Joan!

Confessions of Joan the Tall by Joan Cusack Handler is touring with TLC Book Tours so be sure to pop in and check out the other tour stops. You can find Joan on her website and blog and your own copy of Confessions of Joan the Tall can be purchased at Amazon or Amazon Canada.



I have one copy of Confessions of Joan the Tall by Joan Cusack Handler to share with my readers. To enter…

  • For one entry simply leave me a comment entering the giveaway.
  • For 2 entries follow my blog.  If you already do let me know as you’re eligible for the extra entry as well.
  • For 3 entries blog or tweet this giveaway.

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only (no PO boxes) and I will draw for the winner on Saturday, December 29/12.  Good luck!

Source: Review copy provided by TLC Book Tours and the Publisher. No compensation was received and all opinions are my own.


  1. Ellen wenz says

    I am a subscriber to your blog and I enjoy it a lot. I was curious about this book, as this was me growing up! I am 5’10 and I was 5’8 by 12. I was taller than all my teachers! That was embarrassing!

    Thank you for the give away!

  2. diane says

    this memoir is a treasure. Growing up during that decade it sounds incredible and nostalgic. thanks for this chance.

  3. says

    I like the fact that this is written in epistolary form, and that it speaks of the troubles that Joan had, not only with her height, but with her struggle to adhere with her religion. It does sound like something that I would love to read, so please do include me in your giveaway. Absolutely wonderful review today, Dar! :)

  4. says

    I’m not really one for books that talk too much about religion these days, but this sounds interesting. Glad you enjoyed it.

    Memoirs aren’t my thing either.

    No need to enter me.

  5. says

    This does sound intriguing. I will post it in my blog’s sidebar. I’m a follower. Thanks for hosting this great giveaway, Darlene!

  6. Margie says

    This sounds like a fascinating memoir. Thanks for the giveaway.
    I’m an email subscriber, GFC follower, and Networked Blogs follower.

  7. says

    Is this by Joan Cusack the actress? I think I might be able to relate to Joan — being raised in a Catholic home was quite the experience that still follows me to this day.

  8. Margaret(Literary Chanteuse) says

    This sounds very interesting! Thanks for the giveaway!

    +2 blog follower
    +3 tweeted


  9. says

    I wonder if this is semi-autobiographical??? I would like to write a children’s book one day. I started one a long time ago about a boy who has underwear that gives him super powers!!!

  10. LilMissMolly says

    Hi Joan! Your book sounds wonderful. I am really looking forward to reading this one. Merry Christmas!