Danielle shares how she grew up and grew wise—and the lessons she’s carried from those days to these. In the process, she upends our conventional understanding of family and redefines its boundaries to include the millions of people who share her story.
... powerful and energetic ... Equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking ... It takes a lot of talent to strike an artful balance between such funny stories and the solemn, traumatic moments in Henderson's life. She finds this balance expertly, taking readers along on her roller coaster ride of emotions. Her deeply honest writing is crisp, engaging and full of life as it examines the complexity of identity, family, childhood and independence ... Through it all, the deep love Henderson feels for her grandmother never stops shining through. This book, above all else, is an homage to the woman who dropped everything to be there for two kids who had no one else.
... [Henderson] renders her family with searing honesty and wit ... she brings them to life with her indefatigable sense of humor, which is as quick and sharp as the violence she lived with as a child ... Henderson opts for mirth over pathos, and the results are often shocking and funny simultaneously ... Her unflinchingly honest voice especially shines through when treading softly around the sexual abuse she endured.
Henderson recalls growing up in 1980s upstate New York, usually as the only Black kid navigating a sea of whiteness, with focus, crystal clarity, humor, and care. New York City beckons teenage Henderson with its possibilities, and her hilariously no-nonsense grandma, who young Henderson thought was 'the meanest, craziest person I’d ever met,' becomes the fiercely loving heart and undisputed star of this book. A story of learning to survive trauma and an inventory of love’s many guises, Henderson’s memoir ends as she starts college, leaving readers hoping there’s much more to come.