Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Book review: The Sky Isn't Visible from Here

I'd long held up Jeannette Walls' The Glass Castle as the ultimate oh my God do these things really happen? tale of extremely bad true-life parenting, but she's got some competition from Felicia Sullivan, author of The Sky Isn't Visible From Here.

Sullivan recounts a Brooklyn childhood spent in the company of host of unsavory characters, most notably her mother: a drug addict who lies, cheats and steals her way through deadbeat men and dead end jobs while subjecting her daughter to verbal attacks and leaving her vulnerable to sexual abuse.

Not surprisingly, the author doesn't come through unscathed. She recounts her own struggles with drug abuse, alcoholism and unhealthy relationships. And you've got to give her credit: she comes across as a pretty unlikeable person in her very own memoir.

But it isn't all bitterness and sorrow, and the lack of a ghost writer credit on the jacket offers a clue. Felicia Sullivan triumphed over the bad hand she was dealt and achieved success as a journalist and essayist. Even as she watched her mother survive on life's fringes, homeless, sick and unrepentant.

Other Parent Bloggers Network members are reviewing this book...see what they have to say.