Through Goodreads I have found myself exploring genres I had always considered not to my taste, biographies and autobiographies included. However this is the second autobiography I have won from a giveaway and read. I found myself smiling, laughing, crying, and floundering throughout the narrative of Mikey Walsh's escape from the Romany lifestyle he grew up in. Leaving home is never easy, ask most people and that's what they will tell you. However, for most people home means love, warmth, security and support. That's not true for everyone and parts of it certainly weren't true for Mikey as attempts were made to mold him into something and someone he would never be. At least most of us can live as a part of the same culture we grew up in when we leave home if we so choose, but what would you do if that wasn't possible. I think many of us would break, shatter in nigh irreparable fragments if our culture, family, and everything we've ever known were stripped away from us. Mikey survived. It wasn't easy by any means. but he did it. This is a poignant and heartwrenching, uplifiting and joyous, and above all inspiring novel of a young man who found a way to become himself at a great cost. With people who broke him down and people who built him back up, supported him, and guided him to today; Mikey Walsh has a story unlike one I've ever heard before and I doubt I will ever hear again. I hope that for all he has endured he finds the purest happiness there is. Not borne of love from another, money, or fame; but from the simple contentment with oneself. Here's to you, Mikey.
True or not (as I know some doubt this tale and the one before it) I enjoyed this book, and it reminded me that I am thankful that I have my family and their support when I need it.