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Ghostbread When you eat soup every night, thoughts of bread get you through Ghostbread makes real for us the shifting homes and unending hunger that shape the life of a girl growing up in poverty during the sOne of seven children brought up by a single mother, Sonja Livingston was raised in areas of western New York that remain relatively hidden from the rest of America From an old farming town to an Indian reservation to a dead end urban neighborhood, Livingston and her siblings follow their nonconformist mother from one ramshackle house to another on the perpetual search for something betterAlong the way, the young Sonja observes the harsh realities her family encounters, as well as small moments of transcendent beauty that somehow keep them going While struggling to make sense of her world, Livingston perceives the stresses and patterns that keep children girls in particular trapped in the cycle of povertyLarger cultural experiences such as her love for Wonder Woman and Nancy Drew and her experiences with the Girl Scouts and Roman Catholicism inform this lyrical memoir Livingston firmly eschews sentimentality, offering instead a meditation on what it means to hunger and showing that poverty can strengthen the spirit just as surely as it can grind it down

10 thoughts on “Ghostbread

  1. Barb Johnson Barb Johnson says:

    Writing about a deprived childhood is tricky Too stoic, and the reader fails to engage Too emotional and the reader smells self pity So the fact that Sonja Livingston is able to punch right through the shame and ache and hunger to the truth of such a childhood marks her as an emotio

  2. Missy Missy says:

    Memoirs are my favorite reads, and Ghostbread is easily going to be added as a favorite Sonja Livingston pours her heart and soul into her story of growing up during the 1970 s in the Rochester, NY area Living with her single mother and siblings, life was tough The family was poverty

  3. Kelley Kelley says:

    Living in and through poverty intruigues me I often wonder how some of my students manage to care about what I teach when I know they are living through a hell I cannot imagine This woman s story is so poignant because she grew up in Rochester, in a neighborhood I am familiar with and

  4. Elizabeth Osta Elizabeth Osta says:

    This book tells with eloquent prose a tale of poverty, neglect and somehow magic of childhood that brings the author to survival and ultimately success It s evocative where it needs to be and is told with a gentle touch that makes all thereal the stunning success of survival despite cr

  5. Leigh Leigh says:

    This book is so raw and real The writing is impressive and very beautiful I feel so inspired by this read and will certainly seek out the author s other books What a treasure to our city to have this author present and representing Rochester in her writing

  6. Kathleen Kathleen says:

    I m not given to 5 star ratings easily They have to be earned and this young author, Sonja Livingston, has a way of writing that simply blows me away Her style is clear and crisp straight to the point Yes, Ghostbread is non fiction, so you could say this is a memoir But it s also short s

  7. Heather Heather says:

    Sonja Livingston wrote a very lyrical memoir of her childhood years in this book The style of the book has very short snippets of things that had happened in her life This made the book read very quickly The stories she has to tell are very interesting and telling of them truly brings eve

  8. Claire Talbot Claire Talbot says:

    This was a painful read at times Sonja Livingston s honest portrayal of living in poverty in the Rochester area was eye opening After reading about her life, and the many challenges children growing up in a poverty stricken environment face, I wonder how anyone can develop the self motivat

  9. Goldie Goldie says:

    I heard Sonja read at AWP she was the non fiction winner and it was incredible Her story is stunning, but it s the way that she tells it, in tantalizing, terrifying bites, like some kind of sweet bookish torture, that blew me away All that yearning and loss and beauty and horror all mixed u

  10. Jen Knox Jen Knox says:

    What an interesting format for a memoir it s almost a hybrid of poetry and literary nonfiction So far, I m rather loving it.This is the sort of memoir I will keep on my shelf, and return to for inspiration It s lovely.

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