Dec 24, 08
abuse survivors, social workers, foster parents, tough-as-nails memoirists
Read in May, 2008, read count: once
cupcake brown has had a very hard life, & she details it piece by piece in this memoir, which examines her tragic childhood in minute detail. after her mother suddenly died one day, she & her brother were packed off to two different foster homes. cupcake hardly ever saw her brother again after that & whenever they did cross paths, it was pretty nasty. but she was also abused in pretty terrible ways in her foster homes. she tried running away a bunch of times, & even prostituted herself just to get a little money to get off the streets every now & again, but every time she was picked up by police, they sent her back to her abusive foster homes & didn't listen to her stories of abuse or pay attention to the scars she had from being beaten. she never knew her biological father, but had a loving stepfather who had split with her mom but still cared a lot about cupcake. but because he wasn't her biological dad, he wasn't allowed to take cupcake in. when cupcake finally came of age & was legally permitted to access the insurance money from her mother's death, her biological dad popped up out of nowhere & tried to fleece her for it. but she was too smart for him. she held on to her money & with the help of a few friends who believed in her, she got herself into college. she got into some twelve-step programs & got clean. after a lot of time & a lot of effort, she got a law degree. & that is cupcake's "rags to riches" (or something) story. it could come across as kind of hokey & like, "if i can do it, anyone can!" i usually hate stories like that because the authors don't see all the fortuitive things that take their lives in the direction where they can improve things. this book started going off the rails for me a bit when cupcake went to AA, just because she starts getting all "praise jesus" on us, but hey--if it worked for her, then that's great. cupcake did get a few lucky breaks, but she also worked like a dog to accomplish what she did. the only reason this got three stars is because a lot of the abuse stuff is really hard to read.