Linette is a bizarre, nasty orderly. When she told me she wrote a "memoir," I knew I had to get a copy.
"Book" is an inaccurate description of this work. It's about 4000 (four thousand) words.
Linette has had a very hard life marked by poverty, lack of education, sexual abuse, alcoholism, and drug addiction. She has been to jail, drug rehab, and mental institutions. She was brave to commit these situations to printed paper because, as I told her, she now owns her story. She does not have to try to hide anything from others because she laid everything on the table.
The overall tone is not one of an excuse, or denial of responsibility; but rather an explanation about how it all happened. She described her thought process during each period of her life or in each situation. Although her mind was usually altered by drugs and alcohol, she was able to convey to the reader why she did what she did. The reader understands her character and motivations. Her conscious goal was never to hurt herself or others, yet this was the consequence of all of her actions.
For example, when pregnant with Baby Number Four, she tried to not use cocaine as much because she did not want the baby taken away at birth like the prior children. After faltering many months, she modified her goal to not use cocaine in the final month of pregnancy in hopes that the hospital would not detect any drugs in her or the baby. The baby arrived sooner than she expected after a weekend drug binge. Resigned to losing custody, Linette got dressed to leave immediately after giving birth. A nurse encouraged her to talk about why she was leaving and then arranged for interventions. Linette was not allowed to take the baby home, but she was placed in a drug program and saw this baby during supervised visits, which was more than she had with the first three.
Today she struggles daily with living safely and productively. She swore off drugs and alcohol. She tries to be a good mother, but this role is quite a struggle for her.
When I looked at her before I read the book, I thought of her as a very troubled person with poor work skills. After reading the book, I recognize that her troubles and lack of skills make it very difficult for her to function at a legal place of employment, but that she is still trying to make it work.