If there ever was a book that had me at hello, this would be it. In The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls’ exact first words are, “I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a Dumpster.” She’s headed to a swanky New York city party when she accidentally comes across her vagrant mother. In fact, both her parents are homeless. A unique pair of individuals who chose to live on the streets repelled by conventional standards and beliefs. Her story starts from the very beginning, as far back as she can remember. A fight with a fire in the desert. This is Jeannette’s adventure story. Her secret is out, and it’s good.
Middlesex is a fiction Pulitzer Prize winner written by Jeffrey Eugenides, also the author of his first book, Virgin Suicides, which later became a Sofia Coppola movie. The main character Calliope, who is also the narrator, was born and raised as a girl with too much boy hormones and a little something extra between the legs. This all thanks to a well kept juicy secret between her grandparents, Desdemona and Lefty. But this is not just a story of a girl coming of age, in search of her own identity. It is like a tragic Greek tale of misfortune and adventure. This is an account of the Stephanide’s lineage and their screwed up history that eventually comes full circle. A girl at the age of fourteen who discovers love and lust in all the unlikely ways. A girl who has to deal with fancy doctors who attempt to solve her identity problem. Her genetic problem. Her secret problem. A problem her parents are too ignorant to see, cos they’ve in fact never seen it.