by Barbara Robinette Moss
Growing up the fourth of eight children in the hills of Alabama with an alcoholic father, Moss is a survivor! Continuing the story she began in Change Me into Zeus’ Daughter, Moss picks up from her high school graduation and writes nonchalantly of her struggles with an abusive spouse, raising a son on her own and getting an education and pursuing her dream to be an artist.
I loved this book even more than her first one! She shares the stories of her family with warmth and insight. There is sadness and humor and a deep bond between family. It is a story of triumph over addiction, loneliness and the boundaries of poverty.
After graduating high school, her father told her to join the army, a natural choice seeing as there aren’t many jobs in rural Alabama. She enlists with the Navy because she likes the bell-bottom trousers, but fails her physical due to having had rheumatic fever as a child. Soon she ends up married and pregnant with a husband who locks her in when he goes to work. Even through the abuse she receives, she never quits painting and collecting art supplies somehow.
She finally finds the courage to walk away with a newborn in arms. We find ourselves rooting for her as she struggles to get into college and find a better life for she and her son Jason. As the child of an alcoholic, she finally realizes how much this has affected her own life. Feeling unworthy of love and so alone, she takes comfort with men who are wrong for her. When her relationship with a schizophrenic young artist doesn’t go well, she blames herself. Though she is in danger, she is so needy that the prospect of being all alone is worse than the physical abuse and threats.
Fortunately, Barbara overcomes the legacy of her father’s alcoholism and finds herself in the end. In spite of all the tragedy, hers is a beautiful story…one of determination and triumph. I read it through in one day! A wonderful book!
Sadly, Barbara Robinette Moss succumbed to lung cancer at the age of 54 and died on October 14, 2009. I wish she had written another book!! But her story will always remain with me.