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Imagine a time not so far away and yet so long ago . . . It is the 1970s, deep South, rural Eastern North Carolina, once the “world capital” of the tobacco farming industry. On the Coastal Plains, nestled along the Pamlico River, is a tiny town called Chocowinity.


The characters are original and southern. Donna’s father is a haunted artist and gifted carpenter. Her mother, Pam, a full-time mom, with three children by the age of twenty who attempts to keep it together in a poor family where alcohol and substance abuse became the norm. When her father’s alcoholism worsens, Donna begins to resent him. Finally, on a night when violence reached its terrifying worst, the young family is spirited away for protection, and her parents divorced. Soon her father’s demons re-emerge and he falls into depression characterized by more substance abuse. Several times, their loving extended family comes to the rescue. Among the layers and human elements of this story, there lies an ominous secret. Donna has known it as long as she can remember. She keeps it hidden, as this might change everything.


What unfolds is a funny, touching story of a Generation X tomboy growing up in 1970s and 1980s—before car seat belts were required and shoes were still optional in the grocery store. This unique story is autobiographical. Funny, original, and bittersweet, it is full of Southern culture and generational relevance. This is not just one girl’s story of growing up in a stormy relationship with her father, and their life in poverty. It is a story of coming of age. A must-read for everyone.