Chanel Bonfire by Wendy Lawless(5 out of 5)

Your mom tells you and your younger sister that your dad’s family comes before them, and then you are both whisked away to a new location. Your mom then informs you that your dad has died. Years later you find out he is still alive and that she lied about him not caring. Your mom decides she isn’t happy not being the center of attention in any social universe, and one day you come home from school and your house is completely empty. Your mom, cool as ice, informs you that you’re moving to a whole new apt in New York City- because she decided THAT MORNING that she no longer cares for the house. Your mom does it again less than a year later when you receive accolades from the school you are at- she decides you are more the center of attention than she, so she moves you both to LONDON. On a whim. Years later her relationship with a married man ends with the all-too-familiar revealation that he’s not leaving his wife, so she decides to run around crying and shrieking in her blue Chanel nightgown, takes the car, and threatens suicide, not thinking or caring that her kids are witnessing another breakdown and are left alone worried for hours, about her. Another relationship with a younger man crashes and she swallows a bottle of pills- while her kids sleep down the hall in their beds. All of this- to Wendy Lawless’ mom- is normal day-to-day behavior. 

Imagine Mommie Dearest meets Glass Castle and you have this stunning memoir. Wendy has a gift of coming out with these stunning revealations and infusing them with jaw-dropping sarcastic humor. Imagine that you and your sister try to grow up, support each other emotionally and mentally, and make a normal life for yourself after dealing with this for your whole childhood. Imagine that you and she somehow manage to lead normal lives with families- and you have the makings of a wonderful survivor tale. That’s exactly what this book is. Do yourself a favor- buy it and read it. 

~ by generationgbooks on February 14, 2013.

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