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Don't Spend it All on Candy [Kindle Edition]

Audrey Meier DeKam
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $3.99
 
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Book Description

Don't Spend it All on Candy is a coming-of-age, humorous memoir about growing up on welfare in the 1980s. The story captures the struggles of a family as it was pulled apart by poverty and alcohol, yet bound by witty—and sometimes ribald—humor.

The cast of characters reads like fiction, but it is actually truth. There’s the father, the sarcastic, anti-government, alcoholic, and general ne’er-do-well. He moved his family from state to state, only to leave them again for years at a time in search of construction work. He’d return with empty pockets and bizarre interests such as ESP, pyramid power, and telekinesis. The mother, an Irish Catholic, stayed devoted to him.

Her lack of education and access to transportation in a small town led to a dependence upon welfare.Two older sisters complete the picture, acting as sources of tension and strength throughout the book. And then there’s the narrator, the youngest—the snoop, the clown, and the observer.

In the spirit of memoirs such as Blackbird and Angela’s Ashes, the narrative addresses serious issues while avoiding self-pity. Don’t Spend it All on Candy continuously comes back to the humor that sustained them while celebrating the tenacity that led all three daughters to break the cycle of poverty.

WARNING: this book contains explicit language.


Product Details

  • File Size: 1259 KB
  • Print Length: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Audrey Meier DeKam; 1 edition (January 4, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AYJBMA4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #318,077 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky, Likeable Memoir January 25, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this since I hadn't heard of this author, but I enjoyed memoirs like "The Glass Castle" and "A Girl Named Zippy" and this sounded like it would be in the same vein. It has a lot in common with those books, namely the odd, or even crazy family members, the fact that they're poor, and the humor that she brings to even painful situations. As I grew up around the same time, I enjoyed the nostalgia that some of the details brought on (like Moon Boots!). It's well-written and heartfelt and you can't help liking the narrator.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Spend It All on Candy February 3, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Captured my interest from the very beginning. I laughed and cried. I was disappointed when I came to the end, I wanted to hear more on her journey into adulthood. Highly recommend.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tears and tears of laughter January 27, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The courageous nature the author took to tell her story is absolutely inspiring to anyone who may have grown up in a dysfunctional family. Andy, if you grew up in the 80s, you'll relate to many of her life experiences, especially in the Catholic Church. I laughed and I cried!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking, funny & honest February 3, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a very brave and funny read of the life of a girl growing up on welfare in the States. She is so plucky and honest dealing with the trauma of a Dad who keeps leaving and a Mom who doesn't do reality :)Was left wanting more of her story into adulthood! Great read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and Funny January 28, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I so enjoyed reading this book. It was simultaneously so foreign from my upbringing (the family dynamics) and similar (80s pop culture!) that I felt like I was able to get a peek into a world that was going on around me, without me knowing it at the time. The book is very funny, but is also able to look at the complexity of growing up in very trying circumstances. Audrey's parents are hysterical and heartbreaking, and Audrey's vision of her childhood is laugh out loud funny but also thoughtful and moving.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A standout memoir January 27, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book made me want to laugh and cry at the same time. It reminded me of The Glass Castle but it's also really funny. Despite the dysfunction, you will laugh out loud. The more I read, the more I couldn't wait to see what happened next. My heart ached for the author and all that she went through growing up on welfare. It's so impressive that she can look back at it all now with such a great sense of humor. I enjoy reading memoirs and this one is a standout.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Written from the heart.... February 3, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
While reading this book it was hard to imagine people live this way, and we can be very unaware of what is going on right next door. It is hard to comprehend how challenging it must have been to write about her childhood, but therapeutic at the same time. I hope she continues to write more!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What are parents for? March 19, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very well written.
A heart breaking story told honestly with great sincerity and no malice.
In children with less spine and sense of self this upbringing shot with Negligence and a very lax tendency towards
the law would have produced a very different outcome.
As is Audrey, the author and her siblings have intelligence way beyond their years and seem to process what
the world is and can be and what they would like to be.
The characters are wonderfully drawn we learn as the children do that what people are, they are....and sometimes
little can be done. Subsequently we the reader have compassion for the mother and father. In a parade of
books on such a subject as this this is a very good one.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ... live in the area she wrote about so was fun to see what happen...
this book was a real treat for me as I live in the area she wrote about so was fun to see what happen here back then would enjoy reading more
Published 5 months ago by Judy Vanhyfte
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
So interesting! I read the entire book in one day, couldn't put it down.
Published 5 months ago by Jackie Reid
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard Candy Childhood
Very interesting read! A wonderful first person account of growing up in poverty. The author and her sisters showed a true strength of character by using education to pull... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Jacki Webb
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and topical
This is a memoir in which the author describes her childhood growing up in a dysfunctional family. The father is an alcoholic who lives off and on with the family, and the mother... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Sharon Storm
5.0 out of 5 stars honest, funny, beautiful and harsh
I really just loved this autobiography, and wanted it to go on and on for infinity pages because it was so recklessly honest and some of the sharpest writing I've seen in a long... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Russ
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
I just loved this book! What a life she and her sisters had. I identified with some of her life but even if I hadn't I still would have loved this book.
Published 7 months ago by Carolyn L. Hardy
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad book
All in all, it wasn't a bad book. It wasn't a gripping book either. It was just middle of the road. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Naya McGovern
5.0 out of 5 stars YOU WON'T BE SORRY IF YOU BUY THIS BOOK.
I loved this book. It was very well written, very interesting and I was sorry when it ended. I won't go into what it was about because if you're like me you like to be pleasantly... Read more
Published 7 months ago by E. Trudel
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Spend It All ON Candy
If a story about an alcoholic can be a good read this one is a good read. The father is an alcoholic and many will be able to see their own family in this novel... Read more
Published 7 months ago by C. Yates
5.0 out of 5 stars fun read.
Lots of family details and stories that makes me reflect on my own childhood. Looking forward to her next book - In a few decades that is.
Published 9 months ago by Clint Coleman
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More About the Author

Audrey Meier DeKam lives with her husband and two young sons in Oregon. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

Visit her online at audreymeierdekam.com.

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