You All Grow Up and Leave Me: A Memoir of Teenage Obsession

You All Grow Up and Leave Me: A Memoir of Teenage Obsession

A highly unsettling blend of true crime and coming-of-age memoir— The Stranger Beside Me meets Prep—that presents an intimate and thought-provoking portrait of girlhood within Manhattan’s exclusive prep-school scene in the early 1990s, and a thoughtful meditation on adolescent obsession and the vulnerability of youth.

Piper Weiss was fourteen years old when her middle-aged tennis coach, Gary Wilensky, one of New York City’s most prestigious private instructors, killed himself after a failed attempt to kidnap one of his teenage students. In the aftermath, authorities discovered that this well-known figure among the Upper East Side tennis crowd was actually a frightening child predator who had built a secret torture chamber—a "Cabin of Horrors"—in his secluded rental in the Adirondacks.

Before the shocking scandal broke, Piper had been thrilled to be one of "Gary’s Girls." "Grandpa Gary," as he was known among his students, was different from other adults—he treated Piper like a grown-up, taking her to dinners, engaging in long intimate conversations with her, and sending her special valentines. As reporters swarmed her private community in the wake of Wilensky’s death, Piper learned that her mentor was a predator with a sordid history of child stalking and sexual fetish. But why did she still feel protective of Gary, and why was she disappointed that he hadn’t chosen her?

Now, twenty years later, Piper examines the event as both a teenage eyewitness and a dispassionate investigative reporter, hoping to understand and exorcise the childhood memories that haunt her to this day. Combining research, interviews, and personal records, You All Grow Up and Leave Me explores the psychological manipulation by child predators—their ability to charm their way into seemingly protected worlds—and the far-reaching effects their actions have on those who trust them most.

Title:You All Grow Up and Leave Me: A Memoir of Teenage Obsession
ISBN:9780062456595
Format Type:
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    You All Grow Up and Leave Me: A Memoir of Teenage Obsession Reviews

  • abby

    There are three things about Piper Weiss that stand out above all else in reading her memoir-slash-true-crime book. First, that she came of age in early 90s New York. Second, that she wasn't Gary Wile...

  • Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)

    You can read this and all of my reviews at Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine.Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for You All Grow Up and Leave Me. I was immediately drawn in by the blurb and cover. The true crime ...

  • Ellen Gail

    For me, the life and death of Gary Wilensky took place over one year, the same period my own mind became the most dangerous it has ever been. At some point both our stories nearly overlapped, though ...

  • Eve

    "Stalking is how some men raise the stakes when women don't play along. It is a crime of power, control, and intimidation, very similar to date rape." —Gavin de Becker, The Gift of FearThis was a re...

  • Jen Ryland

    Really interesting. A combination memoir and true crime investigation, this book is about the author's 1990s-era relationship with Gary, a tennis instructor who was later accused of being obsessed wit...

  • Meg - A Bookish Affair

    3.5 stars. "You All Grow Up and Leave Me" is the true crime story of Gary, a seemingly harmless man that weasels his way into the lives of many of Manhattan's elite families through tennis. He teaches...

  • Stacy Fetters

    "The onus is on us to change, be better, be less like who we are. We're at fault for caving to our impulses and encouraged to steer ourselves toward more calculated decisions. Once we called this purs...

  • Deb

    I love memoirs and I find true crime fascinating so I immediately wanted to read this book and be on the TLC Book Tour even though I only had a vague recollection of the Gary Wilensky case. I was in m...

  • Jessica

    Thanks to William Morrow and TLC Book Tours for the copy! Check out my blog for more about the author.This book is first and foremost a memoir. There is then a blending with true crime to make for an ...

  • Shaun

    I received a copy of this book for free through a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway."You All Grow Up and Leave Me" is part memoir, part true crime. It's an interesting look into the world of New York pri...