Monday, May 2, 2011

The Girl's Guide to Homelessness - Brianna Karp

I have to tell you upfront that Brianna Karp's book The Girl's Guide to Homelessness is a memoir. Really. If it was fiction, I would have said that the author was really stretching the bounds of believability. Karp's story is real.

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.


Anonymous said...

I've been reading about this book in several places. It sounds compelling based on what you've said.

Luanne said...

Definitely compelling Kay.

TriciaD said...

I would like to read this

pdiffy at liberty dot edu

Reeder Reads said...

This sounds like a really interesting story and I love the fact that she blogged about her experience.... this would make it all the more real and raw because we're getting daily updates!

faithspage said...

I'm sorry to be commenting on this, but couldn't find another way to contact you.

I won One Bird's Choice by Iain Reid and received 2 copies, instead of just one.

I didn't feel right not letting you know. If you would like to give it away to someone that had commented on that book give away I would be glad to mail it out myself.

Angie @By Book or By Crook said...

Looks like an incredible read. I just added it to my list of books I just HAVE to read!

Luanne said...

Reeder - it's interesting how many blogs have resulted in books these days.

Angie - it is a fascinating read!

Anonymous said...

Absolute trash. I have never read a book that made me angrier. I seriously doubt most of it even happened, and I would bet cash that if the author was asked for any third-party verification of anything that happened in the book, she would be hard-pressed to provide it. If nothng else, her decision-making process is seriously flawed. There are two ways to read this book. One, blindly accept everything she says as fact, or two, read book as though it is a bad Danielle Steele fiction romance novel. It will make more sense as fiction.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Anonymous #8 this book seemed completely made up and regardless of the credibility its just a poorly written book a waste of time and money