Capturing powerful memories of growing up in a large, remarkable, and sometimes surreal household, Objects in Mirror Are Closer than They Appear provides a glimpse of what life was like for author Pauline A.G. Johansen, one of twelve children in an immigrant, Catholic family.
In this memoir, Johansen presents a collection of stories gleaned from living in a large family, where nothing is sacred and the unusual is seen as typical. The story "Getting to Know the Virgin" describes growing up Catholic in the 1950s and '60s. "Once Upon a Time" tells how house fires became a way of life. "Poor is a Four-Letter World" shares tales of camping trips that went very wrong.
Both heartbreaking and humorous, the stories in Objects in Mirror Are Closer than They Appear are remembrances of events that occurred, an attempt to make sense of why they happened, and a family's responses to both the tragic and the mundane. It explores the past with a view to answering the question, "How did I get here?" It also demonstrates there are many ways to be family.