“Girl’s Guide to Homelessness”

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I just finished a really good book called “The Girl’s Guide to Homelessness”  by Brianna Karp. It is a memoir. The fact that I read this while plodding through my second college term of 19 credits is a good indication of the enjoyment I received in reading it. Brianna is an ex-Jehovah’s Witness, but before you think it would only be interesting to ex-Jw’s, only about 10% of it deals specifically with the religion. The rest is her journey over a year of homelessness thanks to the economic plunge in the last few years. She gets her heart-broken (more than once), experiences total loss (of family and possessions), and discovers a cause she can advocate for.

The book just came out a month or two ago and I had pre-ordered a copy thanks to a tip from the author on a forum we both frequent. The cover grabbed my attention immediately. I loved the image of the girl in the middle of the parking lot with the darkening storm overhead. I couldn’t wait to start reading it and put everything else aside while I did so. I had a hard time putting it down and could identify with Brianna’s feelings. Her story demonstrates an important lesson I am only beginning to learn: generous, considerate, truly loving people can be found anywhere, not just within a particular religion. And sometimes when one has been abandoned by their blood family because of the harsh requirements of their faith, there are plenty of people willing to take us up and be our family instead. A family who loves unconditionally, not based upon ones level of faith and adherence to doctrine. The world is a better place than many of us give it credit for. Sure, injustices happen, but truly great things happen too. Maybe if we focused more on what makes us human we might have a more optimistic view of others.

I recommend this book to anyone who has had to overcome childhood abuses and come out the better, stronger person. I think Brianna sums it up nicely in her acknowledgements: “I would like to extend my appreciation to my family and former religion, for providing me with an eventful and interesting childhood, and for imbuing me (albeit perhaps unwittingly) with such handy qualities as determination and adaptability in the face of less than desirable circumstances.” (p. 336)


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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Thank you! Glad you connected with the book 🙂

    ~Bri Karp

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