Thursday, June 27, 2019

Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls; T. Kira Madden

AUTHOR:  T. Kira Madden
PUBLISHER:  Bloomsbury
PUB. YEAR: 2019
FORMAT:  - print/library
RATING - 5/5

I've always enjoyed a good memoir, especially one that delves deep into a dysfunctional childhood. Brutally honest, gritty, sometimes sad, sometimes funny, I loved everything about this woman's journey to self-discovery.

As her story begins we meet "Uncle Nuke" (a mannequin) -- 

Uncle Nuke

"My mother rescued a mannequin from the J.C. Penney dump when I was two years old.  He was a full-bodied jewelry mannequin: fancy, distinguished.  

Madden grew up in Boca Raton, FL to a single mother who was Chinese and Hawaiian.  Initially they lived alone and not the best neighborhood.  For safety, her mother rescues "Uncle Nuke" from the dump.  She dresses him up and props him near a window so it looks like a man lives with them.

Her father was white, wealthy and married; he eventually leaves his family to marry her mother and lives with his new family.   Although money was never an issue for Madden growing up: she went to private schools and had plenty of material possessions, she struggled to fit in. She felt different than her peers as a biracial girl in Boca Raton and she was dealing with her sexuality as well.  She also lacked stability and security in her life, both of her parents battled alcohol and drug addictions. 

Her story is so beautifully written, Madden is tough, strong and forgiving. The memoir is told in a series of very short essays, each one drawing the reader deeper and deeper into her life journey.  Some of her memories were beautiful and funny, others painful. There was so much in this memoir that stuck with me - This memoir did not disappoint; I really loved it.

Note:  Madden was a victim of sexual assault at the age of 12, so readers for who this might be a trigger need to know this beforehand.


  1. I love memoirs and think I'd like this.

  2. I can tell you loved this and I think I would too. I just looked for it on Netgalley but it's not on there anymore.

  3. I've been wondering about this since you shared the mannequin opening! You obviously loved it... I'm adding it to my list.

  4. I am so glad to read your review. I received this book from my Nervous Breakdown Book Club subscription, I have heard the author interviewed on Otherppl, and am just about to read it.

  5. I love it when a memoir reads like a good story and is interesting, but not all doom and gloom. This one sounds interesting.

  6. I love memoirs and with a 5/5 rating, I'm anxious to get this one on audio. Thanks for the recommendation.

  7. Uncle Nuke! This sounds like a very moving memoir.

  8. A 5 star memoir? Adding it to my list.


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