Sink: A Memoir

Grand Central. Feb. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9781538706176. $28. MEMOIR
Thomas grew up in a northeast Philadelphia neighborhood with an extended family headed by his grandfather. Written primarily in the third person, this gripping memoir shows what it was like to come of age in a house filled with violence and neglect. The author’s grandfather regularly terrorizes him with both physical and emotional abuse. His mother is addicted to crack and comes and goes, according to her addiction and occasional incarcerations. Their house is infested with cockroaches, which appear throughout the memoir in horrific frequency. Thomas is regularly bullied and abused by the children in his neighborhood and school but finds himself unable to fight back, except in his imagination. He finds solace and escape in video games and fantasies, eventually making friends who have the same interests. This book is a courageous and absorbing examination of one young man’s life. This is a riveting memoir that will make readers squirm with its unflinching look at the unvarnished detail of the author’s life and circumstances.
VERDICT This is a compulsively readable and brave memoir.
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