Amanda's Reviews > Trespasses: A Memoir

Trespasses by Lacy M. Johnson
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's review
Mar 16, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: arc, nonfiction-memoir, standalone
Read on March 16, 2012

Lacy grew up in Missouri to a traditional, poor farming family that never bothered to keep track of its European roots. Through interviews with her family members and a series of personal vignettes, Lacy explores what it is to be white and poor in America, the farming community, and the odd in-between Missouri inhabits as not quite southern and not quite midwestern.

The concept behind this book is excellent. The execution is discombobulated with a few gems at best, off-putting to the reader at worst.

I think what is most difficult about this book as a reader is that we jump around through time and situations with no guidance. Then there's the narration style. It jumps from "you are so and so" to third person to first person past to first person present without any real rhyme or reason.

The absolute strength of the work is when Lacy puts down her story-telling mantel and simply talks about the history of the terms "white trash, cracker," what it is to grow up white trash, what it is to change class setting from poor to academic. These were interesting and relatable.

Overall although the concept of this memoir is strong and unique, the method of time-jumping vignettes and constantly changing narration styles make for a confusing read. I would recommend you browse a copy in a library or a bookstore if you are interested in the author's writing style or one or two particular vignettes, but not venture beyond that.

Check out my full review. (Link will be live on March 21, 2012).

Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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