This book grabbed me from the beginning. April O'Brien proves that one can make good choices even if they have had a terrible childhood. Some of her insights on poverty and youth were inspiring. There is some doubt that it all happened. (Can someone really make all this up?)
Why the four star rating for this fascinating book? I think that the lack of a stable education and the Heavenly Haymow School took its toll. There are many repeated errors like steel/steal, knew/new, to/too plus much repetition of details. The lack of paragraph structure makes much of the story confusing and transitions hard to follow. (I'm not sure of how much is due to poor Kindle formatting.) April is a gifted writer, but needs to have assistance with proofing and editing (as most writers do), to be taken seriously.
O'Brien has a story to tell. Her mother's mental illness, neglect and selfishness robbed April of a loving childhood. I am sure the love and acceptance of Grandma and Grandpa were her saving grace. I especially appreciated that she broke the cycle with her own child. She really has to be commended for "telling it like she remembered, the good, bad and the ugly."
O'Brien has raised my awareness of the teens I encounter in my volunteer work. Because of reading her book, I am more sensitive to their situations. Thank you, April, for reaching out and writing this memoir. APRIL WAS HERE-LEAVING MY MARK