Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hamster Island by Joan Heartwell

I have often said, “How in the world do you rate a book on someone’s life story?” Was the spelling and grammar correct? Yes as far as I can tell. Was it a fun and entertaining book? No it was not. Then why did I read the book? My answer is simple. It was real.
The author grew up in a family with a grandma who was a kleptomaniac, a mother who was a religious nut case, a dad who was never home and an older brother and younger sister who were special needs kids. I would say mentally challenge, but others would say they were retarded. In other words… a very dysfunctional family.
I admire the author’s honesty throughout this book. She did not make herself out to be the perfect kid. She told it like it was. She did drugs, drank beer and tried to be away from home as much as she could growing up. Which often meant sneaking out of her home, or making up lies about where she was going.
Towards the end of the book I found it to be a little disjointed. I wrote the author about it. She said some things she was not willing to share. I can’t blame her as we all have parts of our lives we do not want to share. Unless you are a perfect person. I don’t know of one person who is.
After her grandma, mother and father died, she became the caretaker of her siblings. The author fought every agency she could to find a home or hospital to place them in. While we now have more ways to help we still do not have enough.

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