©2008 Ashley Rhodes-Courter; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
What a bright young girl who was passed from foster home to foster home and happened to be a gifted writer and grow up to tell it all.
If you ever wanted to be in the heart and mind of a child living a life very different from the norm, Ashley provides an articulate recounting. From her early days with her troubled mother to all the stops along the way to adulthood and a family who (finally!) loves her and adopts her, this story is irresistible.
The voice of the young narrator is perfect -- you feel as if Ashley is sitting next to you, wistfully sharing the truths and realities of her unbelievable life.
As a social worker this audio book really hit home. Our children are our future and they sometimes need to be protected. If we are their protectors then we need to make sure that we are doing our job. Ashley is a remarkable young woman and is a reminder of when systems go wrong there ARE people affected. Her, her birth family, her adoptive family and the many of thousands of children in foster care.
This is just one of those stories that breaks your heart, but then puts it back together when you realize that this kid, with every imaginable strike against her, has made something of her life. She is an excellent writer, and although she likely had a ghost writer, I would not be surprised to learn that she did the whole thing on her own. That is the kind of person she is.
Having an adopted daughter who went through a lot of trauma in the foster care system, and having a lot of residual problems because of everything that went on in her young life and with her adoptive parents, this story really struck close to home. So many times I found myself thinking, "Yup, been there done that," "Oh yeh, I sure know how THAT feels," "Uh-huh, you did the right thing," and on and on. I am so happy for Ashley and admire her strength so much. Not being a professional narrator, she did an admirable job of telling her story.
This was heart wrenching at times. It is hard to believe that in this country we can't seem to do more to keep our children from such horrific treatment. The author seemed to keep herself together despite the poor care, disappointments, etc.
Hearing this story read aloud by Ashley herself added to the horror and strength. Her story is one of resilience and growth.
Given the content of this memoir, I should have been emotionally moved.
I wasn't. This book barely skimmed the surface of a very troubling childhood in the foster care system.
The only emotions I felt were anger at the clearly broken system and the states that perpetuate this treatment of children.
I appreciated the authors honesty while recalling her attitude of distrust but she ended up coming across as snotty and ungracious. The delivery was kind of stiff and flat. It's too bad; this story could be so much more.
I enjoyed listening to this book, although there is a little too much reflection on the part of the narrator, which can slow down the pace of an audiobook (at least in a real book, you can skim!). It was a very sad story of child abuse, and it certainly was educational about the state of the foster care system in the United States. Some parts were just a little slow, especially the last couple of chapters when she is an adult looking back on her experiences.
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