A straightforward but thin autobiography by a young woman who spent 14 formative years in the N.Y.C. foster-care system and survived. Jones' experiences are what one might expect for a child who was rejected by mother, father, and stepmother, and who at four years old began her trek through the maze of foster placements and group homes that is New York's flailing child-care system. It wasn't all a nightmare: some of the foster parents tried to be caring; many among the parade of social workers assigned to her case were sensitive and concerned. But as the case records (released to Jones after a court battle) reveal, they couldn't buck the system either. Astute observations about Jones and her problems couldn't make up for lack of space, lack of supervision, lack of training, and lack of imagination among the foster caretakers. Abuse was a reality, but more difficult Were the loneliness, rootlessness, and instability of the children's lives. A lengthy afterword by Edmund Gordon (Psychology/Yale) pinpoints the crucial question raised by this book: How did Jones overcome these obstacles to become a functioning, productive member of society--holding a job, raising her own child, writing a book? He has no explanation. Jones' own theory: she always knows the answer to the question ""who am I?"" Simple, direct, and focused on the foster-home experience and its effects, this journal is nevertheless short on substance, reminiscent of but less satisfying than a TV documentary.