In the Shadow of the Valley

Little A: Amazon. May 2020. 320p. ISBN 9781542004169. $24.95. MEMOIR
In her first book, Conn provides a deeply personal story of growing up poor in rural Kentucky in the 1980s. With an abusive father and a mother who was not emotionally present, Conn endured a childhood filled with economic uncertainty and neglect. The author became a mother at a young age and was involved in a relationship that she felt did not allow for her personal growth. Despite these challenges, Conn recognized her inherent desire to escape poverty. She left her familiar life behind to be the first in her family to attend college. Conn received her degree and went on to graduate school, where she earned a master’s degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing. This memoir, although at times achingly sad, provides an uplifting tale of a woman who decided that she would prevail over the hand that life dealt her.
VERDICT An engaging read that will connect with fans of Tara Westover’s Educated and those interested in the ability of the human spirit to overcome adversity.

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