I read through this memoir last week in a matter of hours9/24/2021, 6:34:46 PM
I read through this memoir last week in a matter of hours. “The Size of Everything” is the story of high-fashion bridal gown designer, Erin Cole. For the past 20 years, Cole has been celebrated for her “stunning gowns, couture veils, and one-of-a-kind tiaras, and jewelry.” You can find her collections in over 175 stores around the world. Her stuff is, in a word, stunning. . I went into this thinking it would be about Cole’s journey through an abusive home life to becoming a bridal designer. But it’s less about how she got to where she is today and more about her parents, siblings, and how she navigated childhood. (Everything about her entering the bridal design world is pretty much summed up in a few paragraphs at the very end.) . For anyone who may have suffered abuse, I will warn that this book is page after page of Cole not ever being able to catch a break. Between her constantly intoxicated and neglectful mother and step father and her psychologically and physically abusive and neglectful father and father’s girlfriend, the life that Cole lived (the book starts from age five and goes through college) is one horror after another. Being locked out by accident by her drunk parents at age five? Because they weren’t mentally present enough under the influence to even know or care that their baby daughter wasn’t in the house? I have a five year old and just imagining her panic as she tries to find a safe place outside to sleep ALL NIGHT makes me physically ill. I can’t stand to imagine her in such a situation. And yet this kind of thing happened every single day for Cole. . This isn’t an easy book to read because there really isn’t any part of it that makes you feel good. I do wish that we had gotten a lot more real details about how Cole blossomed into the designer that she is today. But I think that just means this book isn’t a “I had a severely terrible childhood and now I’m on top of the world” story. This is a story that becomes more accessible to anyone who may need to read about a journey that’s most celebrated moment or theme is the fact that they survived, learned how to break the cycle and to stand on their own.