These family dynamics are perhaps one of the greatest aspects of the book.
But the unqualified happy ending, with its American insistence on the omnipotence of positive thinking, makes one uneasy. Murray's mother was dying of Aids while her daughter rode the subways at night for warmth, slept in stairwells on marble floors, camped in friends' houses, scavenged in rubbish bins and played truant from school.
Treated you like something they needed to back away from. This prose is self-protective. Liz does well enough to graduate from high school in half the usual time. Her story can be told briefly or unspooled at length the book's pages would have been as powerful cut by half.
By the time you have envisaged the coffee table strewn with her mother's knickers, her parents' blood on the walls and the Wonder Bread, the lice having a field day on her head, you are desperate to read about scouring, clean water and gallons of shampoo.
This is not her fault — drugs rob people of character, blur their edges. It was not the role of friends, she suddenly understood, to pay her rent. As Liz grows up, she witnesses her parents using cocaine and other drugs. Copy to Clipboard. From the poignant, heartache filled descriptions of the sole remaining photo of her mother, to the expressive and somehow beautiful reflections of homelessness and abandonment, the first pages of the book set a tone of raw honesty, incredible circumstances, and profound prose that characterize the entirety of the memoir.