I stayed up and kept right on reading! Too close to real life for comfort - oh wait, it IS real life! Engrossing account of a life in a dysfunctional, abusive home, and of the family's survival. The writing is excellent, and the story is outstanding. Of the writing: story was built well, appropriate amount of detail, amazing "voice": she builds a growing understanding of the world throughout the maturing of a young girl. Great portrait of poverty, homelessness, codependency, and the stories people live within to make their lives "work" for themselves. Of the story: it's triumphant! Right from the beginning you know that somehow three of the kids are able to break out of what is so often a generationally-perpetuated cycle.