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Ghostbread (2009)

by Sonja Livingston(Favorite Author)
4.03 of 5 Votes: 1
0820333980 (ISBN13: 9780820333984)
University of Georgia Press
review 1: This memoir about growing up dirt poor in western New York is a haunting, beautifully written testament to the resilience of the human spirit when love and caring shape the landscape. Born into a single mother's family of seven children, most of whom had different fathers, Livingston paints a picture of her mother's inability to control her own life while struggling to keep her brood of half-brothers and half-sisters together.In a series of good-humored, vignette-style chapters, Livingston tells of a remarkable childhood where homes were abandoned just steps ahead of the welfare authorities or eviction police, and where her mother's fierce commitment to her children provided them a semi-stable life. One of the profusion of homes they occupied was on an Indian reservation w... morehere the father of one of the children lived. There, a traditional Native American ceremony provided the title for the book.An irony in the story is the contrast between the mother's dedication to her children and her lack of commitment in her out-of-control personal life. That the author was able to fashion a successful, stable life for herself and write this forgiving, non-judgmental memoir tells us something about how adversity can produce strength.
review 2: This book slowly built into a powerful, lyrical story of surviving poverty. It's structures as a series of short lyrical vignettes (122 numbered "chapters"), which are like islands you hop to as you move forward. It's almost pointillist in its structure, which means that its power hits you when you stand back from it. This happened as I became more and more engaged with the writing, and later, with moments of reflection (rather than just lyrical memory-vignettes found early in the book). The story is beautifully written, and an important female coming-of-age, working class narrative. less
Reviews (see all)
Homeless in Rochester! Could really connect to plight working with Habitat For Humanity Families
Good book. Well-written memoir of the traveling life of a poor childhood. Not so memorable.
Memoir of a girl raised by a single mother, their poverty and problems.
October 2011
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