Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Girl's Guide to Homelessness - Karp

Homelessness can happen to anyone, at any time.  If the tides were to turn at just the wrong moment and things occurred in the right "wrong" way...we could all find ourselves without the blessings we currently have.

Despite entering the job market as a young teen, assisted by a cheating, abusive mother who arranged for her to work illegally, and working continuously at multiple jobs until she left home (much of the payroll which went to her mother), Brianna Karp found herself laid off in 2008 when the recession hit. Unlivable and unreliable unemployment payments left her having to give up her apartment and move home to live with her parents.

Unfortunately her, likely bipolar, mother had not changed.  After doing her best to survive the situation, Karp's mother went seemingly over the edge and kicked her out of the house knowing full well she had no where to turn. In a warped set of circumstances, her birth father had recently committed suicide, leaving Karp with a trailer home. With no where to park it and no funds to pay rent, Karp parked the trailer in a Walmart parking lot and set about trying to reclaim her life. 

The Girl's Guide to Homelessness by Brianna Karp tells us about her life during these turbulent years. She writes about becoming a blogger, with little action on the job front (everyone was out of work, especially in California)The blog enabled Karp to meet others, some homeless like herself and others just supporters. The blog enabled her to share her experiences, battle stereotypes about homeless persons, and ultimately find a man with whom she thinks she will spend her life  (my biggest complaint about the book is that about halfway through the book, she veers from her homeless memoir and focuses entirely on this relationship, a real disappointment!).

Otherwise, this book was a good read, but boy you've got to be prepared! Karp holds no bars...she tells you just about everything, in detail, including a blow-by-blow of the day she finds herself visiting her birth father's home where he has committed suicide (no one has cleaned up yet) and the day she miscarries her first child.  These moments are rare in the book, but difficult to read.  The rest of the time, the book is a very interesting look at homelessness and how one girl not only survives, but manages to find her way.
But clearly, this book is not for everyone...

3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.

More opinions at:
Book Lust