Memoir Monday: Chanel Bonfire

Memoirs have the power to move us, connect with us and allow us to share life changing experiences with people we’d otherwise never have the chance to know. Every Monday, we’re pleased to feature a memoir and open a window to someone else’s life.

I am compelled to tell everyone about the memoir Chanel Bonfire by Wendy Lawless. It is like The Glass Castle on crack. I couldn’t put it down. The one striking difference between the two is that Wendy grew up with money and privilege where Jeannette did not.

Wendy’s story of living with a suicidal, alcoholic, mentally unstable and promiscuous mother will make you laugh, cry and cringe. Imagine your mother seducing the boy next door you have a crush on who mows your front lawn; or showing up at your graduation in a dirty old nightgown with greasy hair and a cigarette hanging from her mouth screaming at you in front of the entire school; or leaving for school one morning to come home in the afternoon and find your apartment completely empty; or being forced to bag up all your toys, including your just opened Christmas presents, to throw away because your lunatic mother deems you ungrateful; or being woken up in the middle of the night to firemen wheeling your comatose mother out on a stretcher. The humiliation, upheaval and sheer craziness that Wendy and younger sister Robbie had to endure, and the fact that they came out unscathed on the other side, is a true testament to the strength of the human spirit. Wendy’s struggle to protect her younger sibling and be the ‘good daughter’ will tear at your heart strings.

You can follow Wendy on Twitter @WendyLawless2

Chanel Bonfire will be available January 2013. Stay tuned for info on obtaining ARCs/egalleys.