The Forgotten Girls: A Memoir of Friendship and Lost Promise in Rural America

Books on Tape. May 2023. 7:41 hrs. ISBN 9780525500872. $66.50. MEMOIR
Narrating her own debut memoir, political reporter Potts addresses the problems of growing up without much money in America’s heartland. With a solemn voice, Potts contrasts her life with that of her childhood friend, Darci. Both grew up in Clinton, AR, in the Ozark Mountains, and were gifted students who longed to escape the poverty around them. Potts eventually leaves Clinton to attend college at Bryn Mawr, but Darci stays home. As a reporter, Potts reconnects with Darci and discovers she is a single mother who has experienced addiction, abusive relationships, and homelessness. It seems that her own escape from Clinton was nearly miraculous. Potts compassionately describes some factors that make life difficult in communities such as Clinton. Evangelical religious beliefs in predestination and the role of women as subservient to men are only two of the many problems she identifies. Lack of information, parental supervision, jobs and services, an unwillingness to allow government intervention, and easy access to drugs all play a part in a cycle of poverty, disease, and early death.
VERDICT Potts’s compassionate and sensitively read memoir is a challenging but timely listen, illuminating a little-known side of rural America.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing