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Gretchen Eberhart grew up in a household that—thanks to her father—was populated by the most revered poets and writers of the twentieth century, from Robert Frost to James Dickey, a powerful swirl that largely was a men's club.

Eschewing that world, Cherington spent her thirty-five year career advising top executives in how to change their companies and themselves.

Dad and me with mackerel in Maine, 1956

Dikkon and me on an island off Cape Rosier, 1954

Dad and me at Wheaton College, 1953

On top of a hill in New Hampshire, after Dad took job at Dartmouth, 1956

Percy’s handiwork changing clapboards to shingles at Undercliff, 1956

Second Mate, cruising with Dad on Penobscot Bay, 1956

Driving cross-country to Seattle in stifling heat for Dad’s first college teaching job, 1952

But at age forty, with two growing children and her consulting work just under way, she faced a deeply personal dilemma: to protect her parents’ well-crafted myths while silencing her voice, or to challenge those myths and find her truth—even the unbearable truth that her generous and kind father had sexually violated her.  

Underpinned by research in her father’s extensive literary archives at Dartmouth College and in conversations with some of his best writing friends, Cherington makes sense of her father and herself. From the women’s movement of the ’60s and the back-to-the-land movement of the ’70s, to Cherington’s consulting work with executives, to speaking publicly in the formative months of #MeToo, Poetic License is one woman’s story of speaking truth in a world where men still too often called the shots.