This book is a memoir of Kat Spencer’s life; the obstacles she was born into and how she overcame them. The story is told not as a continuous narrative but as a series of vignettes that build the characters up in the reader’s mind. The conditions of her childhood were at times very desperate but throughout there is ray of hope that keeps you wanting to read to find out how it all turns out.
Kat grew up in Dirks County, North Carolina. She was born to parents who had little education. Her mother is a factory worker and her father picks up work where he can when he’s not drunk. Her father seems to have one great moment of parenting when as a first grader he promises Kat to pay her $50 if she has a perfect attendance record for the year. Kat takes him up on that offer.
We see over the years how her father sinks deeper and deeper into addiction, at times being absent from the home for months, and providing very little in the way of financial support. Kat’s mother on the other hand works tirelessly at a factory to provide for her children so that they can attend school and have a better future.
I found this story to be very well written with a narrative that kept me coming back to see what would happen next. I also found Kat to be very inspiring. The way she pushes herself to achieve an education in spite of being in an environment that would cause most to give up. She has no role models in her family to follow but she finds a way to put herself through 4 years of college and a masters degree program. Kat goes on to build a wonderful family of her own.
If you enjoy reading true stories, as I do, then I think you will like this book. I would also recommend it for anyone who needs a little inspiration to get past a tough spot. The human spirit can be so resilient at times and this story is a good example of that.
“‘You are the only hope for this family.’ A seed of hope was planted.” — page 1 “Carolina Sunshower”