Hell If We Don’t Change Our Ways: A Memoir

Zibby. Oct. 2023. 8:33 hrs. ISBN 9781958506240. $15.99. MEMOIR
Means’s rawly told memoir traces her unstable childhood, marked by road trips alongside her mother, who was escaping from one relationship and bad situation to another. She remembers that she never cared where they were going, only that her mother was with her. That is, until her mother would disappear, leaving her with her evangelical Christian grandparents in Indiana. This self-narrated memoir is a powerful story of an adult coming to terms with her abuse-filled, nomadic childhood, striving to break free from generational trauma and forge a path forward. Means’s nuanced narration allows her to share her memories and communicate a full range of emotions. Despite the many heavy moments she relates, she finds a way to be hopeful. It is clear that, while these events will always be a part of who she is, storytelling and sharing have allowed her to start taking control of her narrative.
VERDICT A heartbreaking yet uplifting memoir of a woman recovering from past wounds and embracing healing and hope. For readers of Jeannette Walls’s The Glass Castle.
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