How would you feel writing a tell-all book about your family? You know, exposing all those intimate secrets that everyone thought were buried in the past? Well, former Canadian model Velvet Haney has done it. She’s completed a feat that many would not dare by tossing those skeletons right out of her proverbial family closet — and challenging herself at the same time. How did she manage all that? She wrote one very revealing memoir in the form of a graphic novel, pics and all.
The Mousehouse Years tells the story of Haney’s childhood as she grew up in the slums of Toronto during the 1960s. Along the way are multiple tales, featuring questionable relatives and a philandering father whose mistress introduced her underage brothers to sex, and lots of hobnobbing with Canada’s cultural elite. Above all, though, the book is a tribute to Haney’s late mother, Meg Richardson, whom she describes as an eccentric mom of six.
Here was a woman who, while born into a life of privilege, found herself on a tight, tight budget when she got divorced. Financially squeezed, Meg was forced to find both creative and long-winded ways to support her six kids. This bittersweet novel, told entirely in unpretentious crayon-like images, leaves no secret untold and lays bare everything that we can relate to: fights, romance, drama and heartwarming sibling unity.
You may squirm during that uncomfortable scene where Aunt Mary removes her shoe and tosses it at Uncle Robin’s head. You’ll laugh too, though, because of course, there’s no need to be alarmed here. It’s just a regular WASP Christmas in Forest Hill.
As a high school dropout, Haney lacked confidence in her intellect. Modeling the world over, a job that’s as glamorous as it is lucrative, is not a career that she felt required huge intellectual horsepower. So, at the age of 52, the ex-model returned to her former foe, academia. It was there that she tested her writing abilities and in the process, found a new calling. And we are thankful for that. The Mousehouse Years is filled with childlike illustrations and stories that will make you laugh on the outside and, occasionally, cry on the inside. It’s the best kind of reading around. The Mousehouse Years is a must-read.
Velvet Haney went from living a life of poverty in the slums of Toronto in the 1960s to gallivanting around the world as a high fashion model, returning to Toronto 14 years later. And for over 50 years, she has kept the truth about her sensational upbringing a secret. Until now. Buy The Mousehouse Years right here — AND FILL IN THE ENTRY FORM BELOW TO WIN A FREE COPY!