Read The Kids Are All Right: A Memoir by Diana Welch Amanda Welch Liz Welch Dan Welch Online


“Perfect is boring.”Well, 1983 certainly wasn’t boring for the Welch family. Somehow, between their handsome father’s mysterious death, their glamorous soap-opera-star mother’s cancer diagnosis, and a phalanx of lawyers intent on bankruptcy proceedings, the four Welch siblings managed to handle each new heartbreaking misfortune in the same way they dealt with the unexpecte“Perfect is boring.”Well, 1983 certainly wasn’t boring for the Welch family. Somehow, between their handsome father’s mysterious death, their glamorous soap-opera-star mother’s cancer diagnosis, and a phalanx of lawyers intent on bankruptcy proceedings, the four Welch siblings managed to handle each new heartbreaking misfortune in the same way they dealt with the unexpected arrival of the forgotten-about Chilean exchange student–together.All that changed with the death of their mother. While nineteen-year-old Amanda was legally on her own, the three younger siblings–Liz, sixteen; Dan, fourteen; and Diana, eight–were each dispatched to a different set of family friends. Quick-witted and sharp-tongued, Amanda headed for college in New York City and immersed herself in an ’80s world of alternative music and drugs. Liz, living with the couple for whom she babysat, followed in Amanda’s footsteps until high school graduation when she took a job in Norway as a nanny. Mischievous, rebellious Dan, bounced from guardian to boarding school and back again, getting deeper into trouble and drugs. And Diana, the red-haired baby of the family, was given a new life and identity and told to forget her past. But Diana’s siblings refused to forget her–or let her go.Told in the alternating voices of the four siblings, their poignant, harrowing story of un­breakable bonds unfolds with ferocious emotion. Despite the Welch children’s wrenching loss and subsequent separation, they retained the resilience and humor that both their mother and father endowed them with–growing up as lost souls, taking disastrous turns along the way, but eventually coming out right side up. The kids are not only all right; they’re back together.From the Hardcover edition....

Title : The Kids Are All Right: A Memoir
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780307396051
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Kids Are All Right: A Memoir Reviews

  • Liz Welch
    2019-03-29 09:01

    okay, but I am biased. I wrote this! But WITH my sister, Diana, so I feel like I can brag on her. She really is the most poetic writer--there is a line about the moment Diana, then 8, learns our mother has died. She says, "I don't remember if I cried. I do remember that I felt like cotton, floating apart from the stem." One of the many lines that slayed me. My brother, Dan, and my big sister Amanda contributed their own stories too to make this memoir--Dan is the best raconteur-he made our job of recording and transcribing his stunning memories with their perfect beginning middle and punch line end easy. And Amanda's voice BOOMS off the page. She is as fiercely strong and opinionated and smart as she seems in the book. So I give them each five stars, not only for being my siblings. But for being amazing story tellers.

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-03-26 11:59

    Completely immersed in Eighties culture, this portrait of a dysfunctional yet loving family is completely amazing and full of the unexpected.

  • Denise
    2019-04-09 17:18

    2.0 out of 5 stars Just another 'misery' memoir..., December 20, 2009This review is from: The Kids Are All Right: A Memoir (Hardcover)Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)I read all the positive reviews of this memoir co-authored by the four Welch children whose father died suddenly when they were very young. Unfortunately, after selecting and muddling through the book, I came away with a very different opinion about it. Mostly -- who cares? Yes, it was sad that the children lost their father. And yes, sad also that he wasn't really rich after all and that the circumstances surrounding his death were questionable. Even sadder was when their mother was diagnosed with cancer. But, ultimately, there was nothing unusual or earth shattering here that made this story or this family any more interesting than any other family that experiences tragedy and inexplicable death.The truth is, I'm sorry for them, but really this isn't a story that was so unique that it HAD to be told and I wonder why it was published. I had a struggle to get through it, found it redundant and a bit boring, and didn't like that every child in the family had to tell the same event from his/her own point of view. Glad they all turned out "all right", however, there are a lot of children who face this type of tragic event and don't go through the self-destructive, dysfunctional way of dealing with it. I think anyone who typically reads what I call 'misery memoirs' will recognize The Kids Are All Right: A Memoir as the same sad story they've read before -- just with a different title and author.Sorry, but I would pass on this one because, in many cases, your own family history might provide a more interesting book.

  • Kerfe
    2019-04-23 14:15

    This is my "people magazine" book of the season--an entertaining and easy-to-read real-life story. And it was a good one. Once again affirming that you can't make it up--truth is definitely stranger than fiction.Although, as the Welch children point out in their introduction, the "truth" of memory is dependent on many things, age and time and context forever tainting what gets lodged into your brain synapses. And so each of the four siblings relates their own filtered impressions in alternating self-titled chapters. They also say they consulted others involved in what happened about what they recalled, though it's not clear if that changed what they wrote or how they wrote it.Together, the four childrens' stories, with a 12-year age gap from oldest to youngest, fill out into what seems to be a happy ending for all. After losing their father in a car accident, and their mother a few years later to cancer, they are pretty much on their own to improvise their survival.A few things stand out (yet again) in the behavior of humans in these situations. How a few adults stepped up after the Welch parents died, but so many failed in so many ways. How meaning well can't make up for not doing the right thing. How being a white middle-to-upper-middle class kid with a cushion of money protects you from your illegal and destructive adolescent activities, things that would start a downward spiral to jail, homelessness, addiction, or even death for a child already living on the edge, especially a minority child. How it's always best for siblings, particularly the youngest and most vulnerable, to stay together, to keep family ties strong when parents are unable to do the job. Separation should always be the last choice.I'm still amazed that anyone can expose themselves and the people they know in this way. To their credit, the Welch children give those mentioned in the book a chance to expand or refute their characterization on the book's website, and some have taken advantage of the offer. Interestingly, only one person seems really offended by how they are portrayed, although the woman who comes off worst in the book has not made any comments. All the accounts are engaging to read and complement the Welch family memories.In fact the whole website is a nice expansion of the book, with more photos and updates, as well as soap opera segments starring their mother. Read the book, visit the website, it all works well together.

  • Jennifer
    2019-04-03 12:16

    This collaborative memoir, written from four different points of view, chronicles the ups and downs of the four Welch siblings, three of whom were teens when both their parents died (dad from a car accident, mom from cancer) and they were forced to make their own way in the world. On their own, they negotiated places to live, jobs, and their schooling. Even though they were constantly split up, they defined the word "home" to be whenever two or more of them were together one place. My emotions were all over the place as I sympathized with Amanda's punk-rock fueled rebellions, Liz's ruthless pursuit of popularity so no one would think her a poor little orphan, Dan's experimentation with drugs to keep the demons at bay, and Diana's loss of self as the youngest Welch with the fewest memories of her lost parents. In tone, it reminded me of the The Virgin Suicides or a less dense A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, in terms of exploring the bewildering sense of life continuing to go on, even though this extraordinary and unprecedented thing has happened to your family. Though each voice is separate, together they form a united "we" of loss and longing that is immediate and will make readers feel like they are intimately connected to the rambunctious adolescent Welch clan. There is more supplementary material at the book's website:

  • Tattered Cover Book Store
    2019-04-04 12:17

    Jackie says:This is an amazing book in numerous ways. First of all, the fact that four siblings could join together to write a book is impressive. Their stories, individually and together, are riveting. First they lose their father to a questionable car accident. Then they discover that he left their family $1million in debt. Then, only a month after his funeral, their mom is diagnosed with cancer. They all are tossed about by changes in addresses and schools and with the needs of their dying mother. After her death, arrangements for where each of the kids are going are horrifyingly tangled up (the kids range from a college freshman to a 7 year old) and the family is torn apart for long years. People who were supposed to be helping were not, and at times the kids went through actual abusive situations as they tried to find a place to belong, at least long enough to survive growing up. This is the story of a family that circumstances tried to destroy but love and loyalty saved. It is impressive, affirming and almost impossible to put down. READ THIS BOOK!!!***Unchain Yourself! Please look for this book at your local independent bookstore. There is a store finder at***

  • Anastasia
    2019-04-15 09:12

    I really loved this book. At first I was a little bit thrown off by the different points of view, but after I got used to it, I loved it. It was relatable for me; I have lost both of my parents, one very recently. Although I have no siblings, and found myself envying the authors for having each other. I saw someone call this a "misery memoir" in one of their reviews and believe that is a simple way to shut out a book that is much more than that. Some people just can't take the truth. I really respect all four of the writers for being really honest about their experience. and the writing wasn't perfect, but to me, that isn't what storytelling is about. I found myself wanting to hug the young Diana and tell her that what she was experiencing wasn't her fault...and I felt that closeness with each different sibling. What a great read.I would pass this book on to anyone who wants to experience something tragic with a sense of hope. I am glad it's out there. And what's up with the movie with the same name? Weird, right?

  • Elizabeth
    2019-04-15 14:07

    This is a compulsively readable is like eating a bag of potato chips...I couldn't stop reading "just one more" chapter over the last twenty- four hours. The format of brief vignettes/chapters by each of the four sibling writers is so readable and also really ups the humor level. But this story of four Cinderella sibs whose parents die and who are farmed out -- one to an especially scary family -- can be sad and at times tragic. There's a glut of 'poor me' childhood memoirs right now since the success of "Glass Castle" and others but this one has that extra something that really made me glad I picked it up.

  • Paula
    2019-04-13 14:18

    I put it in my "favorites" shelf because I just really enjoy triumph stories even if I didn't put it up there with Jeannette Walls of "The Glass Castle".I always error on the side of caution-so I usually always mark my reviews as spoiler....True story about 4 kids, 2 parents and chaos...hmmm. Sound like every other American household if I do say so myself.**Amanda-the eldest, she's a defiant, rule breaking/bending independent-speaks her mind type of chick...I LIKE HER!!**Liz-the next in line. Minds her Ps & Qs, does a lot of things on the straight and narrow but at the same time doesn't let things hold her back from enjoying life. She also tried her darnest to keep these kids together.**Dan-the 3rd child and only male...poor guy!! Of course, he's also a rule bender, trying to fit in, here there and everywhere but he means well.**Diana-the baby. Poor kid, things were against her from the get go but she's the sweet baby of the family.**Their mother-an actress. Whom I often thought that she took her work home with her. Sometimes I didn't think she wanted to deal with reality.**Their father-as much as he wanted to protect his family, is unexpected death lead to a lot of uncovering of "wrong doing" or withholding information. Not all that surprised given the decades this family came to be.After their mother's sad death of Cancer, the kids were basically split up. With Diana being the youngest (I believe she was 6?! if I remember right). They (the family) thought it was wise for her to live with this, what seemed to be, well put together family. At first it wasn't so bad and even in the end-I agree with Diana and her sibling assessment...that family was just trying to protect their own, with the only means they knew how. Unfortunately Diana was in the cross fire of some not so nice nor not so warranted "time outs". Diana, afterall, was just being a kid herself, whom I'm sure felt abandoned. Abandoned by her father who died in a car accident. Abandoned by her mother who died of Cancer. Inadvertently (not by their own accord) abandoned by her siblings after her mother's death and then abandoned by her new family when one day they just decided they didn't want her anymore. :-( I give kudos to Diana for believing in herself and making it through. Everyone has a story we can either choose the path to continue the craziness or choose a path for ourselves that is a healthy one.My heart went out to Diana. So that's who I'll keep my biggest review on. The other kids managed to come out on top as well. And good for them and their future.This book actually triggered some events in my life. Though they have since passed, I should have written them down. Perhaps they will float through my head again. I agree with one of the siblings when she mentioned about traveling back to memory lane. It's difficult at times but can also be very therapeutic. And it is mind boggling how our own memory protects ourselves, how our own recall of situations can be different from someone else that lived through the same experience.

  • Jessica
    2019-04-21 09:19

    This memoir is a game-changer - a book that stops telling about the complexities of memory and simply shows (pay attention, David Shields). The Welch's "hunch", that "Everyone has the right to his or her version of the truth, and respecting that right can lead to forgiveness" is the overarching principle of the book, wherein each sibling takes turns writing chapters. Entire scenes of traumatic events - filled with detail and description - are complicated by another sibling calling basic facts into question. For example, Liz writes that she slept alone the night her mother died. Amanda writes, no, I was sleeping right next to you. Liz describes a mix-tape on Diana's dresser, Diana claims there was no mix-tape. Instead of trying to rectify these contradictions, the Welch siblings embrace them. Surprisingly, (unsurprisingly?) the mixed-up truth is fuller and more convincing than a cleaned-up truth could ever be. The most haunting parts of this are the discrepancies between Diana's horrifying memories of her time with her foster family, and the rest of the Welch siblings' memories Diana being happy with her new family. The truth that emerges from the incongruity of these memories is that memory itself warps to protect the psyche from truths which are too painful to confront in the immediate present. Liz has to believe Diana is ok with her foster family because Liz, a teenager herself, can do little to help or rectify the situation. So she remembers Diana as being happy with her family, even as Diana remembers her foster mother as clearly telegraphing signs of psychosis to the outside world. This is one of the best memoirs I've ever read. It questions the very purpose and structure of the genre, breaking generic boundaries in the process.

  • Ayo Summers
    2019-04-16 10:08

    The Kids are All Right is a memoir written by the Welch siblings, Diana, Dan, Amanda and Liz. They had the perfect family, their mother was a soap opera star and their father was a hard working man. Everything seemed to be going fine but one day, their father died and everything started to fall apart. The Welchs couldn't cope with what was happen within their family and now with their mother being diagnosed with cancer their life just went down in a spiral. This memoir is about those hardships and how they were able to get through it and stay together as a family.This book was okay. I'm not really a big fan of non-fiction books but this book is defiantly an exception. This is probably because this book is written from four different perspectives so it kept my entertained and intrigued with all four of the Welch siblings, I also found it very amazing how they were able to handle themselves in this very hard times and stick close to each other. Because this was a memoir it was easy to relate to because I have siblings as well so I was able to understand how each character felt. However I felt like I could better relate to Dan because he was the brother in the family. This book is a good read, it's not fantastic but if you happen to come across it, you should pick it up.

  • Jackie
    2019-04-20 16:00

    This is an amazing book in numerous ways. First of all, the fact thatfour siblings could join together to write a book is impressive.Their stories, individually and together, are riveting. First theylose their father to a questionable car accident. Then they discoverthat he left their family $1million in debt. Then, only a month afterhis funeral, their mom is diagnosed with cancer. They all are tossedabout by changes in addresses and schools and with the needs of theirdying mother. After her death, arrangements for where each of the kids are going are horrifyingly tangled up (the kids range from a college freshman to a 7 year old) and the family is torn apart for long years. People who were supposed to be helping were not, and at times the kids went through actual abusive situations as they tried to find a place to belong, at least long enough to survive growing up. This is the story of a family that circumstances tried to destroy but love and loyalty saved. It is impressive, affirming and almost impossible to put down. READ THIS BOOK!!!

  • Sara
    2019-04-19 11:23

    In The Kids are All Right, four siblings produce a fresh take on the familial memoir. This book billed for lovers of The Liar’s Club and The Glass Castle stands on its own against these genre standards, not so much for its dramatic subject matter, but more for the unique way it is constructed and the instant affinity the authors inspire. While peppering every page with nostalgic 80’s references, the Welch children (Amanda, Liz, Dan and Diana) alternate their points of view detailing their losses of virginity, their parents, and almost each other. No narrator lasts more than three pages and they proceed to correct each other’s recollections or share the same memory from another point of view. The result is a memoir which feels more like brothers and sisters recounting family lore at the kitchen table. This brisk conversational read reminds readers the importance of family and describes a deep love that helps these Kids weather affecting tragedy.

  • Marcellina
    2019-03-28 13:18

    You know when you sit around with your brothers and sisters talking about your childhood memories? And it drives you crazy because you seem to remember events completely differently? This memoir, co-written by four siblings trying to recreate the crazy events of their childhoods, celebrates those different memories. Of course each child sees their memories through the eyes of a pre-schooler, or a drug and alcohol-addled teen, or an older college age adult trying desperately to grab all the pieces of their fragmented family, and pull them back together.Very moving, VERY relatable, a great book to share. I'm bringing my copy over to my sister this afternoon! I'm wondering if I can inspire my 7 siblings to take pen to paper and each write our memories of a single event, or perhaps of our deceased father, and compare the memories ourselves!

  • Sherrie
    2019-04-09 14:57

    The Welch's are the epitome of resilience, facing several tragedies in their lifetime but still managing to muddle through and become successful adults. Amanda, Liz, Dan and Diana Welch are orphaned after their father is killed in a car accident in 1982 and their mother succumbs to cancer in the winter of 1985. The children are sent to live with different family friends but manage to stay relatively close through the years. The memoir is told from each of the children's point of view and some of the memories vary slightly in their recollection. The book is at times humorous and heartbreaking but also inspirational. I love the way the kids stuck together no matter what and were always there for one another. Great book, 4 stars!

  • Clare
    2019-04-15 15:10

    This is an incredible read. It's heartbreaking and funny and full of so much hurt, loss and pain I had to put it down at times. Considering everything all four kids/adults go through it never reads like a plea for sympathy or a sob story. It's an amazing compilation of work on all the part of all four siblings and their stories are well told and well crafted. As someone who lost a parent at a fairly young age I related strongly to much of what they shared even when the circumstances were entirely different.

  • Catherine
    2019-03-26 11:10

    Four siblings tell the story of what happened when first their father, and then, a few years later, their mother died, leaving them to be separated and raised in very different situations. Two of the siblings are writers, who wrote out their own memories and transcribed their siblings' recollections. I liked seeing the events through different eyes, especially when their memories were quite different.

  • Bud
    2019-04-19 16:01

    It was a quick read, and would not have been something I would have picked up if not for my book club.I felt that the writing was in and out, mostly based on the fact that it is told from 4 different perspectives (4 siblings), and some siblings were better writers than others...I felt it was an interesting story of what happens after tragedy in a family, it was sad but also funny and sweet in a lot of spots.

  • Dolores
    2019-04-17 17:12

    A heartbreaking but funny memoir of four remarkable siblings who weathered the loss of both parents and the misfortunes that followed with amazing strength and love. I happened to pick this book up at a library sale and I am so glad that it caught my eye....because the memoirs of these four kids are unforgettable. The kids ARE all right!

  • Beth Dalrymple
    2019-03-29 09:14

    I loved this book. Four children literally left to fend for themselves and all miraculously survive and thrive in the end. Difficult to read but so well written and with such a wonderful ending that you just keep turning the pages to see what will happen to each of the four children until the very end.

  • Roberta MacDonald
    2019-04-01 17:02

    I won this book in a First Reads drawing, so the fact that it was free is great! I really enjoyed this book. The memoirs are written by all 4 of the Welch siblings, with each "chapter" in the point of view of one of the siblings. It was sad, funny, heartwarming, and well done. And it really makes my dramatic family seem like a walk in the park!

  • Tricia
    2019-04-07 12:22

    This is a fantastic book, the story of four siblings and their struggles to stay a family after the deaths of their parents. It is not another misery memoir; I found it to be full of humor. This book is also proof of their love for one another as there probably aren't many siblings who can work together!

  • Jennifer Reininger
    2019-04-09 12:05

    I did like this book. The story of these kids is pretty amazing.

  • Kazia Trujillo
    2019-03-30 11:12

    Don't judge a book by it's cover - because sometimes the title and cover are cool but the book sucks.

  • Kara
    2019-04-21 16:08

    How to review this book... part of me wants to give it 3 stars because I don't like all of the content... and there are 4 voices, as there are 4 siblings. But it's written well despite several authors - and it's clear and well organized so it's easy to follow the story line. Some sections are harder to read, which is to be expected given the premise of what happened to these people. I also think it was wonderful that the conflicting memories were left as they were ("I don't remember that, I remember this..."). It actually lends to the truth of the facts, and reminds us that it is so hard to be clear about what we remember, including the fact hat we may have some of it wrong - but that there is still truth in each individual's memories of their experiences. I couldn't put it down. (Spoilers follow) I wanted to find out what happened to these people. I wanted to know if they ever took Diana back or if her "new mom" ever quit being a shit. I wanted to know if they ever found out what really happened to their dad. I wanted to see them quit throwing their lives away on drugs and alcohol and sex. I found myself caring about them - they each felt so alone and so uncared for and also like they had to hide that from everyone. Even those in their lives who "knew" didn't really know how deep the hurt and pain and suffering was. I don't know if even they did, until much later. I am thankful to the authors for sharing their (deeply difficult and painful) stories. And at the end of the day, I'm glad the title is true, and not sad sarcasm. I'm glad the kids are all right.3.5 stars rounded up

  • Christine
    2019-04-06 14:13

    While I appreciate that these 4 siblings were brave enough to put this story on paper, and I appreciate that they experienced two tragic losses at a very young age ... this book was not for me. And I use that term "book" loosely because this reads far more like a diary (filled with hubris and ego related to drug use, sexual conquests, and petty crime).There was no introspection, analysis, reflection, etc - none of those things you'd expect from 30 to 40 somethings looking back on the trials of a life upended by not one, but two tragic and life-altering events. There was nothing special about this story. There was no depth. And, if I'm being brutally honest - I'm not even sure why this was published. There are plenty of other memoirs out there that leave you rapt and spellbound, or that stick to your skin because of their insights and revelations. This is not one of them.p.s. Diana makes an attempt at the very end, to explain the reasons why she was treated the way she was by her adoptive mother, but it falls absolutely flat, and rings hollow. The reader understood immediately that the woman was terribly emotionally abusive. Period. I would have expected that after all these years that Diana would be more honest about that rather than trying to make excuses for inexcusable behavior.

  • Jakky
    2019-04-13 11:15

    I have a soft spot for family tragedy... I am particularly moved when an author is able to express feelings, fears and frustrations for which I have never found adequate words. My experience is nothing like the Welches’, but pain is universal. And children’s pain is particularly poignant, often rife with misinformation and misinterpretation. As an adult, I yearn to go back and scoop up the child that I was and protect her as I was not protected. I want to coax her to speak up, to tell the truth. I want to reassure her that she is not to blame for adults’ mistakes and bad behaviour. I suspect that Diana would have loved nothing more than for someone to have done the same for her.I really appreciated the Welches’ alternating voices. From the Introduction, in which they observe that memory is subjective, throughout the memoir, their voices resonated with me. Clearly, each child’s perception is coloured by his/her own experience, by his/her own filter, and each one’s memory is valid.The Welches’ tragic childhood had a silver lining. They found strength and solidarity and eventual serenity in their relationships with one another. And my takeaway from their story is that I, too, have discovered strength, solidarity and serenity in my relationships with my beloved siblings.

  • Melissa Schwartz
    2019-04-08 15:57

    This was a very pleasant surprise. I will miss reading about these four siblings and was very invested throughout.If there is one character I would ask questions to, it would be Nancy Chamberlain. Why in the world did she take Diana in? Granted, it was a great Mitzvah to do such a thing, and she gave her a home where she was safe and could go to school. However, it was very clear that she truly did not want this responsibility from the very beginning, making it the wrong choice. Why did she make Diana feel shame for every single thing she did, when frankly she did not seem to do much wrong? Why was everything constantly about how it affected the Chamberlains, when Diana was the one who lost both parents young? Why was Diana manipulated into calling Nancy and Ted "mom & dad" when it only should have occurred if/when she was ready or comfortable? Why did she try to erase her life, and isolate her from her real siblings all that time? It always seemed to be about Nancy. It infuriated me. They never should have taken her in in the first place.

  • Susan
    2019-03-25 10:53

    I ran across this one on my library's website and checked it out on a whim when it sounded interesting. In this case, that whim was rewarding, because this book is a wonderful memoir of how the four Welch children coped after losing both their parents when the oldest of them was only in her second year of college. Each chapter is written from the point of view of a different sibling and it was fascinating to see how the same events resonated differently with them.It was a quick read; I started it this morning and before I knew it I was halfway through it. It's a touching story of the way these three sisters and their brother coped with being separated after the death of their mother and how they managed to hang on to each other despite all that happened.

  • Catherine Yezak
    2019-04-20 10:02

    I really enjoyed this story. I could relate to the loss of a parent. I was amazed with how well they all are doing considering the difficulties they went through. I loved how Diana managed to stay true to herself in spite of having a woman who tried to make her into someone she didn't want to be. Dan is amazing that he didn't do serious harm to himself struggling to find himself and trying to raise himself with so many people who didn't want him in and out of his life.This is an awesome story. Everyone can relate to some part of it. Teens especially would be able to relate to what the Welch kids went through. It is also a great way to show resilience and survival when the odds seem to be against you