The uncompromisingly frank account of a gifted woman's unlikely journey from teenage mother and juvenile delinquent to award-winning writer and scholar.
At age 12, Day had just one goal: to gain her freedom by finding a husband. Certain that she "already knew everything [she'd] ever need to know,” she began her search for a mate and dove "headlong into a turbulent adolescence.” By age 14, Day had not only run afoul of the law as a runaway, but she also wed a boy three years her senior. She soon discovered that early marriage imprisoned rather than liberated, and she filed for divorce at 16. Unwilling to depend on her parents, Day went on welfare. It was only after she started looking for work to support herself and her infant daughter that she realized the importance of getting an education. Returning to school "with all the zeal [she'd] once devoted to collecting records and Revlon lipsticks,” she earned a scholarship to Berkeley. Despite academic successes that included admission into a graduate program in zoology, she continued to get involved in disappointing relationships that left her unfulfilled. Desperately wanting to be "done with the confusion in [her] love life," Day married a fellow scientist and poet who seemed "good enough" but who blamed her for his own inadequacies and could not remain faithful to her. She then began a long-term affair with a respected writer who reawakened her ideas of true love but insisted on emotional detachment. Day then focuses on stories about her family and the man who unexpectedly brought her the joy she had been seeking. Despite this loss in narrative cohesion, her remarkable story and its happy ending make for memorable reading.
An inspiring story about paths, and selves, lost and found.