Thursday, September 25, 2008

Riding in Cars With Boys / by Beverly D'Onofrio

Adversity is the trial of principle. -- Henry Fielding

So it goes with Beverly Donofrio, a bad girl who makes good in this memoir of an early-life crisis. Pregnant at 16, she rode the downward spiral for some time before things finally improved. Here she shamelessly chronicles her life as a high school dropout, parental reject, early bride, wife of a junkie, divorced teenage mom, hippie chick, liberated woman, drug user/dealer, and welfare recipient. Only after a nervous breakdown (of sorts) does she acclimate herself to a better life; growing and learning life's lessons even as her son, Jason, matures with her.

You can't spell memoir without "me" (or moi), an all-too-ironic nuance of this book which practically begins each sentence with "I" or "My" and ends in an angry expletive. With no shortage of attitude Donofrio entertains even as she self-evaluates going so far as to infuriate her own (real life) parents at the time of publication. Drew Barrymore stars in the 2001 film adaptation that won several independent film awards.

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