"I don't know how old I was the night the trailer burned down, or if the rumor was true that Daddy was the one who set it on fire."
For a long time, Edie thought she had escaped. It started in an Appalachian trailer park, where a young girl dreamed of becoming a doctor. But every day, Edie woke up to her reality:a poverty-stricken world full of alcohol and violence, where getting out seemed impossible. She taught herself to drive a stick shift truck at twelve years oldso she could get her drunk daddy home from the bar. She spent Saturdays at Brushy Mountain prison visiting her incarcerated cousin. She watched adults eat while her stomach gnawed and then there was torching of the family trailer, where she dug through the ashes to try to salvage her most prized possession--her Tammy Wynette album.
And at the center of it all was her charismatic daddy. She never knew when he would show up but when he did he was usually drunk; she learned the hard way that she couldn't count on him to protect her. So she told herself it didn't matter. All she wanted was to make him proud. Against all odds, Edie "made doctor," achieving everything that had once seemed beyond her reach. Only, it was too late, because her Daddy died a year before she graduated medical school. She split the cost of his funeral with her sister.
When her past finally caught up with her, it was all too much so she did what her Daddy would have done--she set it all on fire.
It would take her whole life burning down once again for Edie to be finally able to face the truth about herself, her family, and her relationship with God. Readers of The Glass Castle will treasure this refreshing and raw redemption story, a memoir for anyone who has ever hungered for home, forgiveness, and the safe embrace of a father's love.
- Both heartbreaking and beautiful
“I don’t know how old I was the night the trailer burned down—or if the rumor was true that Daddy was the one who set it on fire…” Excerpt
I love books that take place in the south, and enjoyed the Appalachian setting in this memoir. The story shows how not having a strong male figure in the family can damage a young girl’s self-esteem and heighten the need for approval and acceptance. Even if you didn’t have a difficult childhood, it is easy to empathize and relate to Edie’s story.
I really had no idea what this story was going to be about prior to reading, and wasn’t aware it was a memoir, but in a way that made it all the more intriguing. My heart went out to young Edie and the things she overcame, such as an alcoholic parent, adult responsibilities as a child, etc. but I also admire her inner strength and desire to be something bigger than her upbringing.
The chapters are titled with the name of country songs (Ring of Fire, On the Road Again, Free Bird, etc.) So fitting, for country music and the South go together like biscuits and gravy. And the references to the classic television show Bonanza, their old Plymouth car, government cheese, record players, Mamaw’s dirt driveway, wooden fork and spoon wall decorations in the kitchen, etc. give this memoir such a wonderfully nostalgic feel. I remember these items. As a child growing up in the 70s, and living in rural Tennessee, I pictured the scenes so clearly.
Audio Narration: Lisa Larsen does a great job with narration. Her voice is pleasant and clear, with a slight southern accent—fitting for the story.
Audio Production Quality: The production quality is crisp and clear with no distracting static, noises, or music, etc.
Overall Opinion: Although All the Pretty Things isn’t the genre I normally read, I enjoyed learning of Edie’s life. There are heartbreaking parts that were difficult for me to read (and imagine) but none of the content is written unnecessarily—it all holds a purpose. With a theme of overcoming hardships and reaching for the stars, this story is both eye opening and inspiring. No matter the obstacle, there is always hope
Pages (printed length): 320
Narrator: Lisa Larsen
Audio Length: 9.9 hours
First Line (Introduction): On January 4, 2016, my forty-sixth birthday, I am standing on the precipice of Cherokee Bluff, staring down into the cold waters of the Tennessee River.
I received a complimentary copy from the publisher.
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