Paperback ✓ Ghostbread eBook Ú

Paperback ✓ Ghostbread eBook Ú

Ghostbread [Epub] ➟ Ghostbread By Sonja Livingston – When you eat soup every night thoughts of bread get you through Ghostbread makes real for us the shifting homes and unending hunger that shape the life of a girl growing up in poverty during the 1970s When you eat soup every night thoughts of bread get you through Ghostbread makes real for us the shifting homes and unending hunger that shape the life of a girl growing up in poverty during the sOne of seven children brought up by a single mother Sonja Livingston was raised in areas of western New York that remain relatively hidden from the rest of America From an old farming town to an Indian reservation to a dead end urban neighborhood Livingston and her siblings follow their nonconformist mother from one ramshackle house to another on the perpetual search for something betterAlong the way the young Sonja observes the harsh realities her family encounters as well as small moments of transcendent beauty that somehow keep them going While struggling to make sense of her world Livingston perceives the stresses and patterns that keep children girls in particular trapped in the cycle of povertyLarger cultural experiences such as her love for Wonder Woman and Nancy Drew and her experiences with the Girl Scouts and Roman Catholicism inform this lyrical memoir Livingston firmly eschews sentimentality offering instead a meditation on what it means to hunger and showing that poverty can strengthen the spirit just as surely as it can grind it down.

About the Author: Sonja Livingston

Sonja Livingston is the author of four books of literary nonfiction Her latest The Virgin of Prince Street Expeditions into Devotion chronicles her startling return to Catholicism and uses the return to launch various expeditions through space and time to explore Roman Catholic tradition with new eyes Ladies' Night at the Dreamland combines memory research and imagination to provide poe.

10 thoughts on “Ghostbread

  1. Barb Johnson Barb Johnson says:

    Writing about a deprived childhood is tricky Too stoic and the reader fails to engage Too emotional and the reader smells self pity So the fact that Sonja Livingston is able to punch right through the shame and ache and hunger to the truth of such a childhood marks her as an emotionally smart and technically gifted writer Livingston is even handed in her depictions She celebrates the good times the strengths of her family members and turns an observant child's eye on the hard times For those who have lived through similar experiences Livingston's descriptions of her early understanding of what it means to be poor I looked into the black interior of the purse and began to see its emptiness as a weight to be carried will resonate She gives a white hot treatment of the effects of a childhood plagued by physical and emotional hunger and manages to capture exactly the child's view and wrap it in wise prose I worried about my hunger that he might sense it in me that I might forget myself and eat whatever he offered and the hungry always return to the very same hand The hand they know The one that cannot give This is a book that will enlighten will sensitize With its thoughtful observations rendered in beautiful prose Ghostbread is an important contribution in the discussion of a problem America is often unwilling to admit it has the widespread presence of families and children trapped through no fault of its own in a permanent underclass

  2. Missy Missy says:

    Memoirs are my favorite reads and Ghostbread is easily going to be added as a favorite Sonja Livingston pours her heart and soul into her story of growing up during the 1970's in the Rochester NY area Living with her single mother and siblings life was tough The family was poverty stricken and times were hard There was always church in Sonja's lifea bright spot for her to meet friends and neighbors It took me back to a time when you knew everyone on your block all of the neighborhood kids played together and were called in to supper when the streetlights came on Livingston's prose is gritty and honestthis is a powerful memoir that demands to be read

  3. Kelley Kelley says:

    Living in and through poverty intruigues me I often wonder how some of my students manage to care about what I teach when I know they are living through a hell I cannot imagine This woman's story is so poignant because she grew up in Rochester in a neighborhood I am familiar with and also attended the church where my kids were baptised Although I do not know her I find myself craving information about her and her family This is not fictionit is a memoir and I highly recommend it

  4. Elizabeth Osta Elizabeth Osta says:

    This book tells with elouent prose a tale of poverty neglect and somehow magic of childhood that brings the author to survival and ultimately success It's evocative where it needs to be and is told with a gentle touch that makes all the real the stunning success of survival despite crushing circumstances

  5. Leigh Leigh says:

    This book is so raw and real The writing is impressive and very beautiful I feel so inspired by this read and will certainly seek out the author's other books What a treasure to our city to have this author present and representing Rochester in her writing

  6. Kathleen Kathleen says:

    I'm not given to 5 star ratings easily They have to be earned and this young author Sonja Livingston has a way of writing that simply blows me away Her style is clear and crisp straight to the point Yes Ghostbread is non fiction so you could say this is a memoir But it's also short stories a mechanism Livingston uses brilliantly to present her childhood And let me say now this is not a whining self pitying attempt at catharsis Livingston's use of language is powerful and direct Speaking of her mother Sonja says Her tales were rich in gook and detail Nothing was left out Except for fathers They were ghosts that folded themselves into the edges of her tales vapors that floated in and out of delivery rooms with us somehow but never really showing themselves I love how the descriptive writing style is neither flowery nor overblown Livingston assembled Ghostbread chronologically which makes sense in that it's helpful for the reader to understand the family history The author is the 5th child of 7 most of whom were born of different fathers and grinding poverty forced multiple moves upon the family This almost constant moving meant the children never had a real idea of 'home' or stability Periodically Livingston would ask her mother why she wasn't like other mothers Why don't you have a husband? Why don't you make regular meals? Why don't you teach me to do up my hair? To which mother from flinty New Hampshire would respond Live free or die I'm telling you girl there's no other way to be And thus with those words early in the book you understand instinctively that these children are on their ownMostly Ghostbread is a book of longing for understanding; for an engaged mother; for some idea of what a father might be like; for basics like bread to stave of hunger and a full refrigerator of food; for a sense of self As a result Livingston grew up not really knowing who she was what she wanted or where she was going Perhaps through biological fate her path diverged from that of her peers after high school Though capable and intelligent Livingston's main roadblock was not having anyone in front who could guide her to the next chapter of her life college and to a future beyond what she could envision It's always hardest being the first It's lonely going down a different path and yet somehow the author escapes her childhood but not completely and not that easily I managed to make my way but remnants of the past remain Like a ghost the past is always there flicking its gauzy fingers my way Livingston now works with children and sees herself in some of their narratives She understands these children and their stories but this clarity comes with a price I celebrate and cry for those who still live in poverty's clutches I'd love to point them in new directions ideals and opportunities and social theorizing are just fine but if you must understand only one thing it is this a warm hand and words whispered into the ear are what we want Paths that can be seen and followed and walked upon are what we most need And in the end the thing that feeds us no matter how tenuous is what we will reach forIt's for writing such as this that you should rush out and get this book Now Really

  7. Heather Heather says:

    Sonja Livingston wrote a very lyrical memoir of her childhood years in this book The style of the book has very short snippets of things that had happened in her life This made the book read very uickly The stories she has to tell are very interesting and telling of them truly brings everything to life in this book I could fully imagine the times settings feelings and even aromas that would be in the air Sonja did an excellent job with her descriptions that every sense is described and I felt like I was right there along side Sonja My only complaint is that it really left me wanting MORE I woud love details and insight about all the things that happened to Sonja Thank You for a wonderful free read

  8. Claire Talbot Claire Talbot says:

    This was a painful read at times Sonja Livingston's honest portrayal of living in poverty in the Rochester area was eye opening After reading about her life and the many challenges children growing up in a poverty stricken environment face I wonder how anyone can develop the self motivation to make it out I can't really rate this book in the usual way did I love reading it? No honestly it made me uncomfortable But sometimes being uncomfortable and learning about life outside your own circle is necessary

  9. Goldie Goldie says:

    I heard Sonja read at AWP she was the non fiction winner and it was incredible Her story is stunning but it's the way that she tells it in tantalizing terrifying bites like some kind of sweet bookish torture that blew me away All that yearning and loss and beauty and horror all mixed up togethermmmmthe very best kind of writing

  10. Jen Knox Jen Knox says:

    What an interesting format for a memoir; it's almost a hybrid of poetry and literary nonfiction So far I'm rather loving itThis is the sort of memoir I will keep on my shelf and return to for inspiration It's lovely

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