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The hardships related here are both familiar and unique: the Christmas presents exchanged for drink money, the failed businesses, the decrepit shacks that served as temporary homes, the disturbing early-morning discipline. Under the tyrannical rule of a father who "inflicted pain recreationally, both physical and emotional," the only bright spot in Moss's childhood was her mother, Dorris. Slavishly devoted to her husband ("she seemed to crave him as much as he craved alcohol"), Dorris held the family together by absorbing most of the abuse. But in the end she lacked the courage to leave him, and her children had to act as their own protectors. As if poverty and her father's mistreatment weren't enough of a burden, Moss also had to contend with a face disfigured by malnutrition. As a result, she sought refuge in whatever elusive beauty she could find: the poetry her mother taught as a substitute for material things; the fertile, red Alabama soil; the love of her baby sister Janet. Her urge to create beauty and her longing to embody it culminate in surgery that transforms her face but brings with it a crisis of identity.
In her outpouring of memories, Moss occasionally gets lost in her tale, embedding flashback within flashback. More problematic is the portrayal of her father: he's relentlessly cruel until a near-fatal beating, after which he begins to briefly connect with his children. For us, it's too late, and we can only react to his death with a sigh of relief. But these minor quibbles are just that. Moss's extraordinary memoir enthralls us from its alarming introduction--in which Dorris feeds her starving children a meal of potentially poisonous seeds--to its poignant conclusion. --Lisa Costantino --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A haunting, wonderfully written memoir about a girl growing up in extreme poverty in Alabama, in the 60s, with an alcoholic father and a mother who wouldn't-or couldn't-leave him. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Owlmaiden
Book arrived quickly in good shape. I read the compelling, sad story of this woman's life. She was able to find humor in the terrible family life and related it often, which... Read morePublished 3 months ago by txlady
As soon as I began to read the first page of this book, it was hard to put it down. It is the true story of the the author. Read morePublished 7 months ago by J. Johnston
I loved this book. Well written and very interesting. I will definitely read her next book. I am a fan.Published 9 months ago by Ever444
I read this book in one sitting. Oh my gosh Barbara Robinette Moss weaves an incredible journey of her family's lives both painful and beautiful. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Judith A. Middlebrooks
Memoirs are real life stories and the only kind to read. Anyway that is what I like.
Again don't have anymore to say and minimum words is a pain to a person that is helping... Read more
This was a very good book. Easy to read and the author is a great story teller. I recommend this book.Published 17 months ago by Jody
I love childhood memoirs and I loved "The Glass Castle" and "Blackbird" but "Change Me Into Zeus Daughter" just didn't do it for me. Read morePublished 23 months ago by J. C. Goldenberg
This was a good read as this young girl struggled through life and found her way. I love that her circumstances didn't set her on a path of tragidy and in most cases it would. Read morePublished 24 months ago by lila