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Change Me into Zeus's Daughter: A Memoir

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A haunting and triumphant story of a difficult and keenly felt life, Change Me into Zeus's Daughter is a remarkable literary memoir of resilience, redemption, and growing up in the South. Barbara Robinette Moss was the fourth in a family of eight children raised in the red-clay hills of Alabama. Their wild-eyed, alcoholic father was a charismatic and irrationally proud man A haunting and triumphant story of a difficult and keenly felt life, Change Me into Zeus's Daughter is a remarkable literary memoir of resilience, redemption, and growing up in the South. Barbara Robinette Moss was the fourth in a family of eight children raised in the red-clay hills of Alabama. Their wild-eyed, alcoholic father was a charismatic and irrationally proud man who, when sober, captured his children's timid awe, but when (more often) drunk, roused them from bed for severe punishment or bizarre all-night poker games. Their mother was their angel: erudite and stalwart -- her only sin her inability to leave her husband for the sake of the children. Unlike the rest of her family, Barbara bore the scars of this abuse and neglect on the outside as well as the inside. As a result of childhood malnutrition and a complete lack of medical and dental care, the bones in her face grew abnormally ("like a thin pine tree"), and she ended up with what she calls "a twisted, mummy face." Barbara's memoir brings us deep into not only the world of Southern poverty and alcoholic child abuse but also the consciousness of one who is physically frail and awkward, relating how one girl's debilitating sense of her own physical appearance is ultimately saved by her faith in the transformative powers of artistic beauty: painting and writing. From early on and with little encouragement from the world, Barbara embodied the fiery determination to change her fate and achieve a life defined by beauty. At age seven, she announced to the world that she would become an artist -- and so she did. Nightly, she prayed to become attractive, to be changed into "Zeus's daughter," the goddess of beauty, and when her prayers weren't answered, she did it herself, raising the money for years of braces followed by facial surgery. Growing up "so ugly," she felt the family's disgrace all the more acutely, but the result has been a keenly developed appreciation for beauty -- physical and artistic -- the evidence of which can be seen in her writing. Despite the deprivation, the lingering image from this memoir is not of self-pity but of the incredible bond between these eight siblings: the raucous, childish fun they had together, the making-do, and the total devotion to their desperate mother, who absorbed most of the father's blows for them and who plied them with art and poetry in place of balanced meals. Gracefully and intelligently woven in layers of flashback, the persistent strength of Barbara Moss's memoir is itself a testament to the nearly lifesaving appreciation for literature that was her mother's greatest gift to her children.


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A haunting and triumphant story of a difficult and keenly felt life, Change Me into Zeus's Daughter is a remarkable literary memoir of resilience, redemption, and growing up in the South. Barbara Robinette Moss was the fourth in a family of eight children raised in the red-clay hills of Alabama. Their wild-eyed, alcoholic father was a charismatic and irrationally proud man A haunting and triumphant story of a difficult and keenly felt life, Change Me into Zeus's Daughter is a remarkable literary memoir of resilience, redemption, and growing up in the South. Barbara Robinette Moss was the fourth in a family of eight children raised in the red-clay hills of Alabama. Their wild-eyed, alcoholic father was a charismatic and irrationally proud man who, when sober, captured his children's timid awe, but when (more often) drunk, roused them from bed for severe punishment or bizarre all-night poker games. Their mother was their angel: erudite and stalwart -- her only sin her inability to leave her husband for the sake of the children. Unlike the rest of her family, Barbara bore the scars of this abuse and neglect on the outside as well as the inside. As a result of childhood malnutrition and a complete lack of medical and dental care, the bones in her face grew abnormally ("like a thin pine tree"), and she ended up with what she calls "a twisted, mummy face." Barbara's memoir brings us deep into not only the world of Southern poverty and alcoholic child abuse but also the consciousness of one who is physically frail and awkward, relating how one girl's debilitating sense of her own physical appearance is ultimately saved by her faith in the transformative powers of artistic beauty: painting and writing. From early on and with little encouragement from the world, Barbara embodied the fiery determination to change her fate and achieve a life defined by beauty. At age seven, she announced to the world that she would become an artist -- and so she did. Nightly, she prayed to become attractive, to be changed into "Zeus's daughter," the goddess of beauty, and when her prayers weren't answered, she did it herself, raising the money for years of braces followed by facial surgery. Growing up "so ugly," she felt the family's disgrace all the more acutely, but the result has been a keenly developed appreciation for beauty -- physical and artistic -- the evidence of which can be seen in her writing. Despite the deprivation, the lingering image from this memoir is not of self-pity but of the incredible bond between these eight siblings: the raucous, childish fun they had together, the making-do, and the total devotion to their desperate mother, who absorbed most of the father's blows for them and who plied them with art and poetry in place of balanced meals. Gracefully and intelligently woven in layers of flashback, the persistent strength of Barbara Moss's memoir is itself a testament to the nearly lifesaving appreciation for literature that was her mother's greatest gift to her children.

30 review for Change Me into Zeus's Daughter: A Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    What a powerful memoir of a truly harrowing childhood. Before GLASS CASTLE, there was this. Barbara Moss was one of eight children raised in abject poverty by a drunkard of a father and an inegmatic mother who, by not protecting herself and her children, seemed to condone the abuse: "She seemed to crave him as much as he craved alcohol." Barbara suffered physically for her neglect and malnutrition: Her teeth and face were disfigured, causing her more emotional suffering. The writing here is What a powerful memoir of a truly harrowing childhood. Before GLASS CASTLE, there was this. Barbara Moss was one of eight children raised in abject poverty by a drunkard of a father and an inegmatic mother who, by not protecting herself and her children, seemed to condone the abuse: "She seemed to crave him as much as he craved alcohol." Barbara suffered physically for her neglect and malnutrition: Her teeth and face were disfigured, causing her more emotional suffering. The writing here is fierce and poetic. I loved the way one story would lead to another memory, and then back to the original story. I never resented the digressions, because I knew if the two of us were sitting together and talking, that would be the way our afternoon would go. I loved the threads of literature and music that wove through her story. Her family might have been poor, but they had music and poetry... Barbara pulls herself out of her poverty-stricken home; she makes mistakes, she changes her appearance, she fights for education. She is a heroine, and Venus would be happy to call her 'sister.'

  2. 5 out of 5

    Janalee

    I'm just hitting the jackpot with memoirs this year. Can I brazenly give this book 100 stars? Throughout the majority of it I was both livid and aching because of the behavior and treatment of the father to his wife and children. And their living circumstances. And the poor but toughened mother and everything she put up with. But it was bolstered by the kindly people who helped them along the way. Toward the end it took a fairly happy turn. There are so many things I want to say about this book, I'm just hitting the jackpot with memoirs this year. Can I brazenly give this book 100 stars? Throughout the majority of it I was both livid and aching because of the behavior and treatment of the father to his wife and children. And their living circumstances. And the poor but toughened mother and everything she put up with. But it was bolstered by the kindly people who helped them along the way. Toward the end it took a fairly happy turn. There are so many things I want to say about this book, things I'd written out in my mind as I read. But it's fled me now like it always does. I'm daring myself to proclaim it Book of the Year. Also, I'd like my children to read it only because they live in a safe, comfortable bubble and it would benefit them to read about those who don't.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Karo

    Rather than compare this memoir to Angela's Ashes, I think that I would draw a comparison to Mary Karr's The Liars' Club. The books are quite similar: young girl in the south growing up in poverty with an abusive/drunk father and an oddly artistic/educated mother who doesn't quite fit the picture. Unlike Karr's poetic lyricism, though, Moss sticks to the facts. She describes her childhood growing up dirt poor in rural Alabama with her 7 brothers and sisters in exhilarating detail, recollecting Rather than compare this memoir to Angela's Ashes, I think that I would draw a comparison to Mary Karr's The Liars' Club. The books are quite similar: young girl in the south growing up in poverty with an abusive/drunk father and an oddly artistic/educated mother who doesn't quite fit the picture. Unlike Karr's poetic lyricism, though, Moss sticks to the facts. She describes her childhood growing up dirt poor in rural Alabama with her 7 brothers and sisters in exhilarating detail, recollecting the days when her alcoholic father drank away all the money and there was nothing to eat in the house. Nothing. The book has a very odd chronological sequence -- Moss jumps to and fro from childhood to adulthood to somewhere in between from page to page. Her hatred and wild love for her parents is fascinating and infuriating both -- one simply cannot believe that people live in such a way and survive. Perhaps not as beautifully told as others, and leaving many gaps, but a riveting tale nonetheless.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Fiercely honest coming of age novel of growing up poor and with parents that in their own ways are unable to provide for the needs of their children. It is a difficult book to relate to if one had a fairly normal/good childhood; but there is humor interspersed with the tragedy which keeps the book from becoming too heavy with despair and anger. Although, it touches on heavy topics it is well written and opens up those doors that books to to let you become aware of lives that you yourself will Fiercely honest coming of age novel of growing up poor and with parents that in their own ways are unable to provide for the needs of their children. It is a difficult book to relate to if one had a fairly normal/good childhood; but there is humor interspersed with the tragedy which keeps the book from becoming too heavy with despair and anger. Although, it touches on heavy topics it is well written and opens up those doors that books to to let you become aware of lives that you yourself will not live. Great book!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Camie

    Memoire of Barbara Moss who grew up in extreme poverty in Alabama hills in the 1960's as one of nine children with an abusive alcoholic father and a mother who felt she had few life options. Some basic similarities to books like Angela's Ashes, and The Glass Castle though because of malnutrition and lack of medical care Barbara grew up with a facial deformity that she called a " mummy face" and wishes much of her life to become beautiful like the daughter of Zeus in the stories of her childhood. Memoire of Barbara Moss who grew up in extreme poverty in Alabama hills in the 1960's as one of nine children with an abusive alcoholic father and a mother who felt she had few life options. Some basic similarities to books like Angela's Ashes, and The Glass Castle though because of malnutrition and lack of medical care Barbara grew up with a facial deformity that she called a " mummy face" and wishes much of her life to become beautiful like the daughter of Zeus in the stories of her childhood. A good story of how one young girls resilience helps her move forward.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Keri

    This book had the potential to be a five star story. However, all the author wanted to really talk about was her horrible father. There were lots of stories from her childhood about how the family survived not only extreme poverty but life with an incredibly abusive and alcoholic father. However, when it came to talking about her own journey, especially how she dealt with her facial deformity and life after reconstructive surgery, the author didn't really seem to want to tell the story. Another This book had the potential to be a five star story. However, all the author wanted to really talk about was her horrible father. There were lots of stories from her childhood about how the family survived not only extreme poverty but life with an incredibly abusive and alcoholic father. However, when it came to talking about her own journey, especially how she dealt with her facial deformity and life after reconstructive surgery, the author didn't really seem to want to tell the story. Another case of where the editors failed a first time author. Needed more balance between the story of her childhood and her adulthood.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Vogel

    I picked this up because Amazon recommended it to me because I had read The Glass Castle. I had also read some reviews and people compared it a lot to Glass Castle. This book is a little choppy. Unlike The Glass Castle, which somewhat goes in order of the narrator's life...this book jumps around a lot. Each chapter is not connected to the one before or after. Barbara's father was a crazy alcoholic and everyone in the family was afraid of him. Barbara had a disfigured face that left her feeling I picked this up because Amazon recommended it to me because I had read The Glass Castle. I had also read some reviews and people compared it a lot to Glass Castle. This book is a little choppy. Unlike The Glass Castle, which somewhat goes in order of the narrator's life...this book jumps around a lot. Each chapter is not connected to the one before or after. Barbara's father was a crazy alcoholic and everyone in the family was afraid of him. Barbara had a disfigured face that left her feeling like an ugly duckling her entire life. She discusses her apprearance at length and how it set the tone for every aspect of her life in both childhood and as an adult. In general I was pretty unimpressed. Yes, her life sucked, but she didn't put the book together very well. I kept waiting for "something" to happen, but it never did. She gets married and has a child and gets divorced, but she tells you about it as an afterthought in one paragraph. I would have liked to have known more about how she met her husband, what their life was like and what led to her pregnancy then divorce. She is very brief on that subject. One thing that was interesting about the book was that Barbara has many siblings and they each remembered their childhood and father very differently. Unfortunately, the abuse at the hands of their father ruined the lives of some of her siblings, while others hardly remembered any abuse at all. At times, it's hard to believe disfunction like this exists. Would've liked her story to have been more chronological, less choppy. Give it 3.5 stars

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn Bashaar

    This was an absorbing, harrowing memoir of a girl growing up in a very poor family with an alcoholic father. I grew up with an alcoholic father, too, so some of what Moss experienced was familiar to me, but my dad was Ward Cleaver compared to hers. Her father was a self-absorbed sadist. It's amazing to me that his children still loved him and mourned him when he died. Barbara's father spent money on booze even before feeding his family. She was so malnourished that her face was deformed, and as This was an absorbing, harrowing memoir of a girl growing up in a very poor family with an alcoholic father. I grew up with an alcoholic father, too, so some of what Moss experienced was familiar to me, but my dad was Ward Cleaver compared to hers. Her father was a self-absorbed sadist. It's amazing to me that his children still loved him and mourned him when he died. Barbara's father spent money on booze even before feeding his family. She was so malnourished that her face was deformed, and as a young woman she spent her own money on having moles removed and having braces put on her teeth. Later, she was able to get an operation that corrected her severe jaw deformity. What's really interesting is to speculate on why their mother Dorris stayed with their father SK. I grew up in the 60s, too, and I think it's easy to forget that women had few economic options at that time. What kind of job would Dorris have been able to get in rural Alabama? And who would have watched her seven children while she went to work? I think, too, that mothers have a biological bias towards staying with the father of their children while the children are young. I suppose it's cultural, too, since it certainly seems to have weakened in the past generation or two, but, still, I think mothers generally tend to feel that they need to hold a marriage together for the sake of their children. Later in life, Dorris did divorce SK, after her children were grown.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Traci Domergue

    I found this book written by Barbara Robinette Moss mesmerizing to say the least. I am also from the same part of Alabama as she. Even though my own childhood was quite different than hers, I felt myself so into her world. I wasn't pitying her (she was proud) but Empathy is the emotion I had for this family. She tried so hard to hold onto her hopes and dreams. I admire that. Eight children depending on their dirt-poor parents (Dad being the alcoholic) and Mom being the proud yet singlehandedly I found this book written by Barbara Robinette Moss mesmerizing to say the least. I am also from the same part of Alabama as she. Even though my own childhood was quite different than hers, I felt myself so into her world. I wasn't pitying her (she was proud) but Empathy is the emotion I had for this family. She tried so hard to hold onto her hopes and dreams. I admire that. Eight children depending on their dirt-poor parents (Dad being the alcoholic) and Mom being the proud yet singlehandedly glue holding them together.She was doing the best she could with the cards life had delt her. I have much admiration for that! This is another Keeper for my bookshelf to be read again and again. If you want to read the truth, read this.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    There are many reasons for giving the memoir, “Change Me Into Zeus’s Daughter,” a high rating and recommendation. It's intensely impacting and captivating, deeply heartfelt and bold, harrowing yet hopeful, aptly constructed and well written. But if for no other reason, the shear courage and willingness to bare one’s personal experiences and private thoughts – especially those most painful and scarring – for the entire literary world to read and scrutinize, is reason enough. Sometimes the scars There are many reasons for giving the memoir, “Change Me Into Zeus’s Daughter,” a high rating and recommendation. It's intensely impacting and captivating, deeply heartfelt and bold, harrowing yet hopeful, aptly constructed and well written. But if for no other reason, the shear courage and willingness to bare one’s personal experiences and private thoughts – especially those most painful and scarring – for the entire literary world to read and scrutinize, is reason enough. Sometimes the scars of one soul, helps heal a thousand other wounded souls. Five commendable stars, Barbara Robinette Moss.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Thart2002

    This is not a typical autobiography but rather the telling of things that the author and her brothers and sisters experienced growing up. I would have enjoyed it better had the stories been written in a sequential order but they were not. Still, it was an interesting book and quite a testimony to the strength of the human spirit as well as the desire to love our parents no matter what. The living conditions and poverty that an alcoholic father and codependent mother lived with and thrust upon This is not a typical autobiography but rather the telling of things that the author and her brothers and sisters experienced growing up. I would have enjoyed it better had the stories been written in a sequential order but they were not. Still, it was an interesting book and quite a testimony to the strength of the human spirit as well as the desire to love our parents no matter what. The living conditions and poverty that an alcoholic father and codependent mother lived with and thrust upon their children was mind boggling. All and all it was a very interesting read and I loved the ending.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Carol Wagers

    A couple of spoilers coming. This is a really awesome book. the author was one of 7 children in a very dysfunctional family. The abusive, violent alcoholic father was allowed to abuse the children by their mother, who belatedly rebelled when he started fooling around with another woman. Barbara experienced things that would fell a lesser person, and kept fighting, managing to get herself a degree from Drake University which frankly seemed an impossible dream thru much of the book. I really liked A couple of spoilers coming. This is a really awesome book. the author was one of 7 children in a very dysfunctional family. The abusive, violent alcoholic father was allowed to abuse the children by their mother, who belatedly rebelled when he started fooling around with another woman. Barbara experienced things that would fell a lesser person, and kept fighting, managing to get herself a degree from Drake University which frankly seemed an impossible dream thru much of the book. I really liked this book, many funny parts: the 7 kids were very resourceful in finding trouble. The human spirit is very resourceful.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Holly Mueller

    This memoir reminded me a lot of The Glass Castle. Barbara was born into a family of an alcoholic and abusive father, stoic and poetic mother, and lots of kids. They were impoverished in the South, and Barbara lived with a face that she likened to a mummy - twisted with malnutrition and tooth decay. It amazes me that any of them survived, but survived they did, and luckily, Barbara knows how to tell a story! Our book club enjoyed talking with amazement and sometimes horror about what this family This memoir reminded me a lot of The Glass Castle. Barbara was born into a family of an alcoholic and abusive father, stoic and poetic mother, and lots of kids. They were impoverished in the South, and Barbara lived with a face that she likened to a mummy - twisted with malnutrition and tooth decay. It amazes me that any of them survived, but survived they did, and luckily, Barbara knows how to tell a story! Our book club enjoyed talking with amazement and sometimes horror about what this family lived through.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dina

    This book made me want to run to my parents and thank them for being responsible, caring, educated people who placed my well-being above their own. It is a difficult book to relate to if one had a fairly idyllic childhood; but the humor interspersed with the tragedy keeps the book from becoming too heavy with despair and anger. The author has an amazing talent for capturing moments in time and sharing them with wit, grit, and pathos to her audience.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Mesa

    What constitutes "family" comes in all shapes & sizes - and I always enjoy the opportunity, through someone's memoirs, to be a "fly on the wall." This singular life, unlike mine & revealing in its fierce honesty, held my interest from beginning to end. The author, a survivor, takes the pain of her life and gives it words, thus giving us a gift. Knowing she is alive today & no doubt still holding much pain, I wish her well.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I absolutely love this title and couldn't wait to crack open this book. However, I ultimately was left disappointed. Yes, it deals with a poor upbringing in Alabama, abuse, addiction, alcoholism, all of the necessary components to a memoir (it seems). However, Moss doesn't seem to mix together the components into a cohesive whole, and I was left with a rather distinct impression of nothing. I remember very little about this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    I read this for bookclub. I don't like memoirs, and this book didn't change my mind. Although well written, I found this book a very frustrating read. Barbara and her many siblings come of age in the sixties with a drunk abusive father and a mother, who seemed unable to protect her children or to leave her abusive husband.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I enjoyed this novel so much that I read it twice. Ms. Moss writes from the heart, and does not mince words when it comes to her backgroud of family dysfunction. So many times I felt her pain, and had to stop, thinking of how blessed I am, growing up in my family. I have also read Ms. Mosses other books as well. Great read!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Blaine Morrow

    Heartrending without being sentimental or whiny, this memoir makes the reader feel the humiliation, frustration, despair, and anger that attend a childhood of abuse, alcoholism, neglect, and poverty.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joann

    I really loved this memoir. I gave it a 5 star rating as it held my interest from beginning to end. Their aren't a lot of memoirs that have done that for me. Glass Castle and a few others are on that list. I recommend it for anyone interested in memoirs.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Love

    I read this and loved it. As sad as it was you could really place yourself in some of those situations. I posted it to give away and then found a hardcover copy at a book sale and it is now on my keeper shelf. Awsome read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    This book is recommended for anyone who likes an incredibly well written book about another starving family in the South where the men drink and the women suffer and get pregnant. Its just not my favorite type of memoir.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Reading this book made me extra thankful for my wonderful parents and all they provided to me and my brothers.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I loved and hated this book. I loved the writing and the story! But the story is sad and could potentially trigger anyone who has lived in an alcoholic or dysfunctional home. Overall, I recommend this book. It's an interesting picture into the life of an alcoholic family. In the story, Barbara's alcoholic father didn't work, and he put himself first before his family. There was often no food in the house, he never kept his promises and the home was filled with emotional and physical abuse. I loved and hated this book. I loved the writing and the story! But the story is sad and could potentially trigger anyone who has lived in an alcoholic or dysfunctional home. Overall, I recommend this book. It's an interesting picture into the life of an alcoholic family. In the story, Barbara's alcoholic father didn't work, and he put himself first before his family. There was often no food in the house, he never kept his promises and the home was filled with emotional and physical abuse. Because of his behavior, the kids were adrenaline junkies. They were used to crises and sometimes created dangerous situations for each other. The family also kept secrets from each other. That's classic behavior in a family affected by alcoholism. Barbara's mother enabled the behavior. Before marriage, she was in the Marines and sang. But she was primarily absent from Barbara's life because of her devotion to her husband and because she had to protect her oldest daughter Alice from him. She was like a puppet attached to him on a string, jumping every time he asked. Barbara described her behavior as smoothing everything over like icing on a cake. Mom finally decided to leave her husband when he cheated on her. However, the kids were grown. Barbara wondered why she waited so long and how she didn't feel so strongly against him when he was abusing them. She felt intense anger toward her mom but did teach her mom to drive and gain her independence.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    The author Barbara Moss didn't really make it to my Gritty Girl List as I thought that she would. Like other reviewers that gave it three stars (2.5 really) I have mixed feelings. I would have liked to really know that little girl but it's possible that she was never very transparent and didn't really know herself very well. Like her mother who was joined at the hip to her husband, Barbara was oddly dependent on and in a way, though she both loved and hated them, idolized her parents. This book The author Barbara Moss didn't really make it to my Gritty Girl List as I thought that she would. Like other reviewers that gave it three stars (2.5 really) I have mixed feelings. I would have liked to really know that little girl but it's possible that she was never very transparent and didn't really know herself very well. Like her mother who was joined at the hip to her husband, Barbara was oddly dependent on and in a way, though she both loved and hated them, idolized her parents. This book has been compared to Glass Castles by Jeanette Walls. There is a similarity in the artistic mom and the eccentric dad but the cruelty administered by Barbara's father was something that no one should tolerate or accept. I didn't like the jerkiness of the timeline jumping from decade to decade back and forth within a chapter. I wish it had been a fluid read because eventually it made me jump ahead to finish the thought and skipping some of the meandering. I guess I agree with others that it had potential to be a much better story.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Raising children is challenging. In an abusive and alcoholic family the challenge sometimes turns to survival. This book made me reflect on my own childhood and some of the kids I knew growing up. I feel very fortunate to have not grown up in circumstances like Those Barbara survived. This book I'd make me wonder what some of the kids I knew and their childhood struggles. Many of the kids in my grade school classes received either free lunches or ones at a reduced price. What kind of situations Raising children is challenging. In an abusive and alcoholic family the challenge sometimes turns to survival. This book made me reflect on my own childhood and some of the kids I knew growing up. I feel very fortunate to have not grown up in circumstances like Those Barbara survived. This book I'd make me wonder what some of the kids I knew and their childhood struggles. Many of the kids in my grade school classes received either free lunches or ones at a reduced price. What kind of situations did they survive? What struck me the hardest in this story was the families reluctance to seek help and utilize the programs available to them like food stamps, assistance from a church etc. Each story had a scar behind it and Barbara is brave to tell them.

  27. 5 out of 5

    heidi

    this is the original "the glass castle." not to detract ANYthing from jeanette walls' reality, one hell is as hideous as another when you're a kid--it's all just fucking hot, but this just blew me away. i teared up a few times--sobbed once. a painful start to life for such small, innocent, vulnerable creatures--it makes me so thoroughly disappointed in my species. but what a determined soul barbara is--there are those that fight, those that flee, and those that fall down where they are caught this is the original "the glass castle." not to detract ANYthing from jeanette walls' reality, one hell is as hideous as another when you're a kid--it's all just fucking hot, but this just blew me away. i teared up a few times--sobbed once. a painful start to life for such small, innocent, vulnerable creatures--it makes me so thoroughly disappointed in my species. but what a determined soul barbara is--there are those that fight, those that flee, and those that fall down where they are caught standing, choice always determines the outcome--but when you're a kid, you don't even realize you have a choice because oftentimes you really don't. in every small way, however, barbara DOES choose success and makes it happen. truly amazing. she warms my heart & makes me smile.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    This is a story of extreme poverty, alcoholism and awful parenting. Every story made me angry and yet the strength of these children was evident in every act of rebellion. Barbara was dealt a bad hand- malnourishment causes her face to be deformed, she had to help raise a younger sibling while the other kids went to camp... I just wanted something good to happen to her. I found the chronological jumps distracting and hard to keep up with. I hated her father and I hated her mother for not This is a story of extreme poverty, alcoholism and awful parenting. Every story made me angry and yet the strength of these children was evident in every act of rebellion. Barbara was dealt a bad hand- malnourishment causes her face to be deformed, she had to help raise a younger sibling while the other kids went to camp... I just wanted something good to happen to her. I found the chronological jumps distracting and hard to keep up with. I hated her father and I hated her mother for not fighting for herself or her children. It makes me sad that these are true stories.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    In a similar voice to Jeannette Walls' "The Glass Castle", "Change Me into Zeus's Daughter: A Memoir" is an autobiography about the tragic early life of the author and her family living in poverty and the spirit, tenacity and resiliency she had in ultimately being able to transform her life in adulthood. At times heartbreaking and horrifying, Barbara Robinette Moss has left me wanting to hear more details, particularly about her later years, that were only briefly described here. Luckily, I can In a similar voice to Jeannette Walls' "The Glass Castle", "Change Me into Zeus's Daughter: A Memoir" is an autobiography about the tragic early life of the author and her family living in poverty and the spirit, tenacity and resiliency she had in ultimately being able to transform her life in adulthood. At times heartbreaking and horrifying, Barbara Robinette Moss has left me wanting to hear more details, particularly about her later years, that were only briefly described here. Luckily, I can get what I want! I have added "Fierce: A Memoir" to my queue!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tavia

    I was prepared for the female Angela's Ashes and it was similar, but I enjoyed this more because she had an adult perspective and detailed her latter years more so than Frank McCourt. I chose this book for my AP students' summer read. I'm not sure how they'll react since they don't have the life experience yet to connect to. I think, however, that her childhood experiences are spoken if with a maturity they can appreciate.

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