The story of “Rabbit” is a gritty account of a childhood that is something out of a nightmare. Yet the book is also full of inspiration and hope. It’s depressing but at the same time filled with humor. Patricia Williams’ story is certainly one filled with extremes.
The author’s life began with a mother who was ill-equipped to care for five children. Her childhood was filled with alcohol, drugs, and abuse — physical, sexual and emotional. By the age of 15, she was the mother of two children. Her nickname for her whole young life was “Rabbit.” The fact that she managed to turn her life around is a testament to her fortitude, her determination, and surprisingly, her sense of humor.
One reader who loved this book said, “At the beginning, the book is very raw. I almost put it down because it made me very uncomfortable. I read through the beginning and then couldn’t stop reading. I was in shock at learning what she and others go through. The alcohol and the drugs — I couldn’t put it down because I wanted to find out how she got through those horrors. I’ve thought that my life was bad, but this put it in perspective. It’s amazing she kept her sanity through it all — and her sense of humor. It made me feel that no matter what you go through, there is a way out.”
One of the “angels” who helped Williams as a child was her third grade reading teacher. She told the dirty, hungry child that she could do anything she wanted. She combed Rabbit’s hair and bought her clothes. She taught her to read and dream. She was a public school teacher in a poor neighborhood — but she made a difference in Rabbit’s life.
The writing style is engaging and accessible and the content is riveting. For nonfiction fans, this is one autobiography that should not be missed.
Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by the publisher, Dey Street Books, for review purposes.