Irene Sardanis was raised by an abusive mother and the main reason why she wrote this book seems to be to get back at her. She tells how she was brought up by Greek immigrant parents in a poor area of New York with two sisters and one brother. The family was abandoned by their philandering father who remained living in the same neighbourhood but did nothing to provide support. As the youngest child the author was expected to provide support for her mother and accepted this as her duty even though she subjected her to constant abuse. On the surface this seems a depressive book to read but I found the story fascinating. It kept me reading right to the end to see how she could cope with her mother and how she survived to live a successful life.