I will first say that I am not a fan of memoirs. That being said, this book was fascinating. While it is portrays abysmal parenting, sexual abuse, violence and dysfunction at it's absolute worst, the author manages to do so without whining or making excuses for poor choices. The tone is humorous and forthright and I enjoyed the book immensely.
This book's description mislead me. I found it really interesting to read about a girl who practically grows up in a funeral home. The title was extremely alluring. But only about 20% of the story happens in the funeral home. Furthermore, her spending time with her best friend whose family owns a mortuary and her stint as a hearse driver seems more like a subplot. The novel is more about the exploits of a neglected teenageranother one of these types of memoir. And it doesn't even make the cut as an extraordinary one. The author tells more than she shows. I think "The Glass Castle" is the quintessential neglected-child memoir. If you want to read that kind of story, read "The Glass Castle" and spare yourself the rest.
What a wonderful and heart felt book. So well written that I could visualize the main character's home and family. I felt so sorry for the main character as well as her siblings. This book was impossible to put down! Hooray for the courage of this author in talking about her abusive upbringing and the power of the human spirit to overcome.
Incredible read. I dreaded turning each page, afraid of whatever fresh horror would be presented. But also, I was unable to put the book down, hoping for safety for little Monica and for peace for adult Monica.
Read this in a day. Very well written. Most of the story is about the author's obsession with death when she is a child. It's kind of funny all the things that come together to encourage her obsession. Her father is obsessed with disasters, two girls her age die, she meets a friend of her dad's who owns a funeral home and he has a daughter her age and they soon become best friends. Of course, she spends lots of time playing at the funeral home with her friend and once she learns to drive, the two pick up bodies. Later on in the books she reveals why she thinks she became obsessed with death...but I won't reveal the ending.
Overall you have one gutsy, ballsy, lady telling her life story within these pages. It's an easy read in that she doesn't use a lot of "oooh look at me I'm an author & know a lot of big important words". She tells her story as if you're a friend she's talking to while sitting on her sofa with a cup of coffee on an afternoon visit. Love her style!
I loved this book even though the story will resonate within my mind for years to come I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to read a "real story" and can deal with mature subject matter. There's no way to be disappointed in this authors chilling tale of a life many have lived but few would be so honest to put into print.
As yet another person with a fascination with the dead I was itching to read this memoir. I sat down one night & didn't put it down until I finished it the next day.
I laughed, I teared up, I thought of the memories that sounded like they could have come from my own home life in the eras she lived through. I was sad, angry at her mother & father & some of the shits she dated throughout her life. I was horrified at the total dysfunction she lived in and the lack of support she found at times.
True story of the author as a young girl with her family. Abusive father, family strange, sepecially father, he loves taking pictures of accidents and gore. Her real only happiness is being in the funeral home. She talks her grandmother into taking her to a funeral of a young girl that she lied and said she knew, and after that found peace in funeral homes with the dead. This was a very well written book and i did enjoy it alot. It is just --well "strange" what some people find comforting, and that she turned out normal. It is strange that I found this a comforting read!! But i really did like it.
The book was pretty good, though I wish there had been more humor, as the back promotes it as a funny & tragic book. The author had a very harrowing childhood and I am left feeling sympathy for all she went through. I'd say there is more sarcasm, not a lot of humor. I just hope she found the process of writing cathartic and is now having a happier life.
Typical dysfunctional family story, but this one is told with humor. However, the issue of sexual abuse is not even mentioned until near the end of the book and the question - at least in my mind was never entirely resolved. Did it occur or not? Still the humor in it made it the best of this type that I have read lately. I give it a meh..
While i enjoyed the author's ability to tell a story and infuse humor in situations that dont normally call for laughter, I felt for the family members, and wish them well. I enjoyed the Glass Castle much more, as well as Half Broke Horses, apparently I like to read about dysfunctional family stories!
Monica Holloway made me laugh out loud with this memoir. Even someone who doesn't read this type of book will be entertained. Her family is pure chaos, so she spends a lot of time with her friend, whose family runs a mortuary. The adventures these two little girls have are priceless. And then she gets to return home. Although her life is full of despair, violence & sadness - she doesn't feel sorry for herself. She just tells her funny story!
Monica Holloway's writing is honest and straight forward with a touch of humor. She takes the reader on a journey that ultimately names the reason why she always felt her family "were the weird ones."
I expected this memoir to be morbid. It was uplifting. I expected an overall unhappy and 'woe is me' outlook on life. Instead, the author takes the reader through thirty-four years of her life with candidness. The difficult times are not glossed over. The good times are not maudlin. It is overall a sincere and positive story.
Monica's story will remain with me for a long time. I rate it 4.5/5.
I have mixed feelings on Driving with Dead People. It is very depressing all that Monica had to go through in her life but yet that she rose above all the adversity was a great encouragement. I would recommend this book but just be aware there is some explicit details that can be disturbing.
This was an interesting book. It was well-written and kept me engaged from the very beginning. It tells the story of this young girl, and goes all the way through her life, until she is married. She has a quite weird family and how she has to cope with all of this, through her life. I liked this book and read every word of it. If you are into memories you will like it too.