Books in Review
by Adrienne Petterson 2005

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Without A Net - Middle Class and Homeless (with kids) in America: My Story
by Michelle Kennedy
Viking
ISBN 0-670-03366-9
Published February 2005 - Hardcover - 212 pages - $23.95

This is such a compelling read that it'll keep you turning the pages.  Michelle Kennedy, a regular young woman, wound up living in her car with her three young children.  Perhaps her only mistakes were having kids at such a young age, and, her choice of husband.  She tells the eye-opening account of how she wound up living out of her car down on a beach.  Sheer determination and the love for (and of) her children kept her on the straight and narrow.  Working in a bar helped her feed her kids, and as it turned out, they earned a valuable (if not a pricy) lesson in their young lives which no doubt will give them incredible strength later on.  Although Michelle says she tried to make it as though this was quite normal and okay, once she found a woman who would look after her children, she felt a whole lot better about things as they were - they were eating better and had a "home".  One can't anticipate one's life falling apart and then having to start all over again.  Michelle was fortunate that she met up with compassionate people who empathized with her situation - not everyone has her "luck".  All credit goes to Ms. Kennedy for her courage and commitment to her children - it could have all gone horribly wrong - much worse than where she found herself.  Her family weren't the kind she could fall back on either, so she did it almost all on her own.  Bravo.
Conclusion - Incredible story, one that everyone should know could happen to them.

Review copy not supplied by publisher - library copy reviewed.



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