Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Girl's Guide to Homelessness: a memoir

Author: Brianna Karp

Publication Date: 2011

Category: Autobiography, Memoir

Who'll want to read it?  Anyone who wants to read about contemporary social issues.

Point of no return: I was hooked from the very first line in the prologue: "The Walmart lot was cold in the night air, even for southern California. I hadn't brought enough blankets and would need to swing by the thrift store and pick up a few more. Everything was well-lit by the streetlamps and eerily quiet. There were maybe a dozen other trailers around when I arrived, but no sign that actual people might live in them at all." pg 1

What's it all about? Brianna Karp, aged 22, was an executive assistant in the Human Resources section of a US firm Kelley Blue Book, earning $50,000 a year. She was renting a cute cottage, had a boyfriend and a dog called Fezzik - "Life was beautiful, fantastic."
The US economy changed all that, leaving Brianna living in a trailer in a Walmart carpark. Brianna documents the events in her history that lead up to this point and then how she handles her situation with humour, bravery and resourcefulness. As Brianna points out, she is not the only one with this problem and is certainly not in the worst case scenario for homelessness. Through her experiences she has become an activist for homelessness, co-founding World Homeless Action Day in 2010. A lot happened in this book which kept me turning pages well into the night, but I don't want to give anything away. When you've finished the book you can find out what Brianna is up to now on her webpage "The Girl's Guide to Homelessness".

Classic line:  "I had never thought about how those homeless people ended up there." pg 2

Publisher: Harlequin

Local readers may like to join our "Woolly Hat Wednesday" in support of Hunter Homeless Connect Day.

Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

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