Book trailer for Bound: A Daughter, a Domme, and an End-of-Life Story




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Unflinchingly honest and darkly funny, this memoir will resonate with anyone facing the complicated reality of aging and illness in the United States.

Elizabeth and her mother, Judy, have always had a complicated relationship. Now they face a confounding illness, as well as a labyrinthine healthcare system, at a complicated stage of life. Nothing is as it first seems in this riveting account of an unconventional mother-daughter journey—a journey that from the start poses questions about love, life, family, aging, healthcare, sex, and death.

In Bound, Elizabeth Anne Wood addresses these questions as she chronicles the last eight months of her mother’s life—a period she comes to see, over the course of months, as a maternity leave in reverse: she is carrying her mother as she dies. Throughout their journey, Wood uses her notebook as a shield to keep unruly emotions at bay, often taking comfort in her role as advocate and forgetting to “be the daughter,” as one doctor reminds her to do. Meanwhile, her mother’s penchant for denial and childlike tendency toward magical thinking lead to moments of humor even as Wood battles the red tape of hospital bureaucracies, the frustration of planning in the midst of an unpredictable illness, and the unintentional inhumanity of a healthcare system that too often fails to see the person behind the medical chart. Read more…


Not my cross to bear, I think with a wry smile as I stare into my mother’s small craft room at the object that dominates the cluttered space. Perhaps seven feet tall, it is shaped like an enormous black letter X standing on a shallow base, canted backward at a slight angle. If it were a person, it would be standing tall with feet planted wide and arms flung out, its face raised to the sky, exultant, powerful. This is not the image that would occur to most people who are familiar with such equipment, I’m sure. This is a St. Andrew’s Cross, a piece of bondage gear, and it bears witness to my mother’s power, strength, and willingness to defy convention. Yet it also evokes for me her frailties, weaknesses, and shame—the many crosses she’s turned to me to help her carry. Not my cross to bear? This time it’s a question, and I know the answer is yes, it will be in the end. Read more…


“Sex, death, and family are some of the hardest topics for any writer to take on. Elizabeth Wood gracefully and fearlessly explores all three in this moving memoir.”

Lux Alptraum, author of Faking it: Lies Women Tell About Sex―And the Truths They Reveal
A picture of a stethoscope with a shiny red heart attached to it.

Told with courage, honesty, humor, warmth, and insight, Bound A Daughter, A Domme, and an End-of Life Story offers readers a front-row seat to the negotiations between a daughter, her unconventional mother and other family as they face the medical-emotional whiplash of terminal illness. Wood offers wisdom and perspective that is sure to help others as they straddle the painful space between what they want and the inevitability of loss. This book is filled with love and promises to be a wonderful companion for anyone faced with caregiving.

Virginia A. Simpson, Ph.D., FT, award-winning author of The Space Between: A Memoir of Mother-Daughter Love at the End of Life

Bound is a deeply honest, unflinching portrait of a daughter’s relationship with her mother at the end of life. In this affecting memoir, the intimacies of an aging woman’s lifestyle of kink and bondage become fascinating metaphors for hospital life, medical care and physical dependence during illness and dying. Bound is both a brilliant meditation on helplessness and power, and a stirring testament to the strength of bonds between people who care for each other.

Victoria Pitts-Taylor, Ph.D., Professor of Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Wesleyan University, and author of The Brain’s Body: Neuroscience and Corporeal Politics.

Elizabeth Wood puts a human face on our health care crisis. She offers a loving testimony to her mother – who had lived life exuberantly as an elder dominatrix – and an indictment of the way our healthcare system treats those least able to advocate for themselves.

Joan Price, author of several books about senior sex including the award-winning Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex and the forthcoming Sex after Grief: Navigating Your Sexuality After Loss of Your Beloved.

In this fascinating exploration of a complex mother-daughter relationship, Elizabeth Wood comes to terms with her mother’s flaws and eccentricities in order to make peace with her impending death. Wood also shines a necessary spotlight on the myriad bureaucracies within our health care system which make navigating illness challenging and often dehumanizing. A smartly written, thought provoking read.

Heather Frimmer, MD, author of Bedside Manners

Bound explores the complexities of caregiving in the context of a unique mother-daughter relationship. This personal story triggers universal emotions and offers insights that will help you understand your own caregiving journey.

Iris Waichler, MSW, LCSW author of Role Reversal: How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Aging Parents




Order a signed copy from Kew & Willow! Just put a note in the comment box telling me how you’d like it made out.

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