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The Sky Isn't Visible from Here: Scenes from…

The Sky Isn't Visible from Here: Scenes from a Life

by Felicia C. Sullivan

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725245,551 (4.08)2



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Memoir by a woman raised by a volatile, probably sociopathic, drug addicted mother who often put her daughter in danger. An excellent description of a woman's ambivalence towards a fierce, protective, possessive mother who was also narcissistic and abusive. ( )
  blgriffin | Apr 27, 2016 |
Halfway through the book I wanted to stop - no, take that back - 1/4 way through the book I wanted to stop, because it made me angry. It's a tough book, but well written and a worthwhile read. ( )
  Caryn.Rose | Mar 18, 2015 |
Excellent, but emotionally tough to read. Surviving a tough chilhood is hard, thriving and blooming is a miracle and that is just what Felicia Sullivan has shown us in her memoir. A drug addict mother, multiple men trapesing through her life, abuse and neglect and yet she shows us humor and just plain gumption as she finds her way to adulthood. ( )
  PamelaBarrett | May 3, 2010 |
Felicia Sullivan has had an extremely difficult and chaotic life. Her mother bounced around from man to man, becoming addicted to cocaine and doing all manner of things in order to get her next fix. As an adult, Felicia has not seen or spoken to her mother since the day before her college graduation, when she asked her mother not to attend. Although determined to be different from her mother, Felicia has herself become an alcoholic who is addicted to cocaine as well.

If you’re going to read a hardship memoir, this is the one you should read. Sullivan has quite a gift with words and never gave off a ‘pity me’ vibe but shared her life in a straightforward manner. She provokes emotions in her reader simply by showing us the events of her interactions with her mother instead of trying to tell us how to feel.

The story jumps around a good deal, although the chapter headings (if you are the sort who is good at paying attention to chapter headings, which I am not) do tell you when and where you are. I imagine that Sullivan constructed her memoir as she did to give the reader a sense of the chaos she has lived. I do think that that a more chronological ordering of Felicia’s life might have given a better sense of her growth that could have made her story more satisfying, but I do understand stylistically why she would have chosen to structure her story the way she did.

For a hardship memoir this was remarkably light on the desire for pity, which made it that much more attractive. I really was captivated by Felicia’s story. ( )
1 vote DevourerOfBooks | Jun 17, 2009 |
Gut wrenching memoir of a girl's growing up with a drug addict mother, abusive father figures, and the ultimate desire to become a genuine person. Very moving.
  mochap | Mar 14, 2009 |
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Felicia Sullivan's volatile, beautiful, deceitful, drug-addicted mother disappeared on the night Sullivan graduated from college, and has not been seen or heard from in the ten years since. Sullivan, who grew up on the tough streets of Brooklyn in the 1980s, now looks back on her childhood?lived among drug dealers, users, and substitute fathers. Sullivan became her mother's keeper, taking her to the hospital when she overdosed, withstanding her narcissistic rages, succumbing to the abuse or indifference of so-called stepfathers, and always wondering why her mother would never reveal the truth about the father she'd never met. Ashamed of her past, Sullivan invented a persona to show the world. Yet despite her Ivy League education and numerous accomplishments, she, like her mother, eventually succumbed to alcohol and drug abuse. She wrote The Sky Isn't Visible from Here, a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, when she realized it was time to kill her own creation.… (more)

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