Brianna Karp is a third generation Jehovah's Witness. She started working at age 10. She has survived violence, abuse and poverty for most of her life. She had finally made it - a good job, a tiny rental home, a pet (a giant Mastiff) and was finally living the life she had always dreamed of. When the recession hit, she lost her job, ran out of benefits and had trouble finding another job. She was forced to move back in with her mother. (I can't even begin to describe this women - you have to read it yourself) She receives a call and learns that she is the next of kin for the biological father she hasn't seen in 20 years. He's killed himself. His legacy? Brianna inherits a trailer. And that trailer becomes her home when her mother kicks her out. Her new address? The corner of a Walmart parking lot. She's just 23 years old.
Karp begins to blog about her experience and it takes off from there. I'm not going to give away any more of her story. It truly is a shake your head unbelievable story.
At first I thought the book would be more of an 'insider's' look at being homeless. It is to a certain degree, but it really is about Karp's life. I honestly couldn't book the book down. Her writing is raw and honest. My reactions ran the gamut from anger, shock, sadness and joy as Karp bucks the odds, keeps plugging away and triumphs.
I'm sure we haven't heard the last of Brianna Karp - I'll be curious to see where life takes her next. And The Girl's Guide to Homelessness will without question have you rethinking your definition of homeless.
You can find Brianna on Facebook and on Twitter and of course on her blog. Read an excerpt.