I love true stories! Last night we watched “Safety” on Disney+ and it was really good.
At the end when the credits started to come on I told the kids to wait, because my favorite part of movies based on true stories is when they tell where they are now, even better if they show photos. This movie had both. It even had video clips from the real-life brothers that inspired the movie.
I love reading true stories too and I have never been a girly girl when it comes to what kind of books I get into. I have read everything from “American Sniper”, the autobiography of the most lethal sniper in U.S. history, to “Save Me From Myself” by the former heavy metal rockstar from the band Korn. I read and am fascinated by a diverse range of stories.
I truly cannot keep up with the number of memoirs I have read. However, it occurred to me last year that I couldn’t recall one memoir I read that was written by a Black American woman. I’ve read lots of books written by and about women of color, but not a memoir. What’s up with that? So many true stories and I hadn’t read any that were a black female? I am embarrassed that this could be true. So I started looking into changing that. Some of my all-time favorite stories, movies, and music are all from black women so I thought it would be easy. A quick google search showed Michelle Obama’s book over and over, but I knew there must be more than one option when finally I stumbled upon the book Rabbit.
Rabbit is as an autobiography about a comedian who was born and raised in Atlanta at the height of the crack epidemic. From the back of the book- At age seven, Pat, known as Rabbit, was taught to roll drunks for money. At twelve, she was targeted for sex by an older man. By thirteen, she was pregnant. By fifteen, Pat was a mother of two. Alone at sixteen, Pat was determined to make a better life for her children. But with only an eighth-grade education, she had limited options. She learned quickly that hustling and humor were the only tools she had to survive. The book is described as an unflinching memoir of cinematic scope, wisdom, and unexpected humor that gives us a rare glimpse of what it’s really like to struggle and thrive in America.
I was intrigued.
I had never heard of Patricia Williams. a.k.a. Ms. Pat, a.k.a Rabbit, but that didn’t deter me. I don’t usually read books about things I am already interested in. I read out of curiosity about things that I don’t know anything about. The only catch is it has to be uplifting. I can’t handle something depressing and hopeless. There has to be a greater purpose to the story. Rabbit appeared to fit the criteria.
So I listened to the Rabbit audiobook which was even better than reading it because it was read by the author. I love it when books are read by the author. Their dialect, inflection, and tones are just another layer to the story. This book was entertaining, inspiring, and insightful! I barreled through to the end because it was so good. Patricia Williams is truly an overcomer, and I highly recommend this book. Since I am a family blogger I should mention that there is language and adult themes to the book, so I want to be sure to give a fair warning about that. However, if you like books that are about defeating the odds you will want to read this one.
The interesting thing to me is it reminded me of several other memoirs I’ve read such as Hillbilly Elegy, Educated, and The Glass Castle. All three of those books are about being raised in poverty in unconventional circumstances (to say the least), but then being able to break free of the cycle as adults. All three of those books have been on the New York Times Best Seller list with millions of copies sold. One was even turned into a major motion picture and another is a series on Netflix. So many people recommend these books and I can’t help but wonder why I had to consciously seek out a book like Rabbit, a memoir by a black female. I do know that I have already recommended it to friends and now I’m going to go ahead and blog about it!
So that’s my latest book recommendation- Rabbit by Patricia Williams with Jeannine Amber. I look forward to finding more diverse stories to dive into. If you have any suggestions I’m all ears!