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Monday, December 23, 2013

Burn Down the Ground: A Memoir

It's memoir time again, folks! Today we have Kambri Crews' stunning Burn Down the Ground.

Kambri grew up in rural Texas poverty, the daughter of two deaf parents intricately connected with the Deaf community. Her mother is gorgeous, kind, and everything every woman in town wants to be--her father, however, is a philandering rage-aholic whose violence will soon land him in prison. To make the marriage work, her mother moves the family to the boonies of Texas, building a home and a life until it all comes crashing down due to her father's vices. It's not until she is an adult that Kambri can begin to seek answers and find a balance between her adult fear of her father's uncontrollable mind and the child-like deeply ingrained adoration that will always be.

I had read in several places what a searing and moving memoir this would be, and I was not disappointed. I was thoroughly engrossed in Kambri's story, and while it would have been interesting on its own, I feel that Kambri's willingness to bare her soul gave the story the gravitas that it certainly deserved. It is a heart-wrenching story, told from the perspective of a young girl who adores her father and can't understand the incredibly grown-up situations that endanger a marriage and a family.

This young girl becomes a teenager who watches her brother become so like her father, and she fears them both for whom they have become and that of which they are capable. This girl then becomes an adult who must face the hardest of challenges--testifying against her father in an attempted murder case because it is the right thing to do. These phases of Crews' life inform this remarkable story that will gut-punch you, make you angry, and pull at your heart. Life isn't fair, but how we deal with it informs whom we are, whom we become, and whom we will forever be.

Kindle version on left, hard copy on right. 

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