The follow-up to Somebody’s Someone (2003), Louise’s well-received debut memoir about her experiences in foster care.
The author’s first book, which was adapted into a stage play, focused on the plight of the foster child in general and the author in particular, and it established her as a motivational speaker on such issues. Her story had a distinctly raw edge to it, as she chronicled how she was placed in and tossed out of numerous foster homes and care facilities, how she was deemed mentally disturbed and incorrigible for wanting what so many children from intact families took for granted, and how she triumphed over unbelievable odds. After going deeper into some of the details, Louise describes how a chance encounter with a one-time customer at her job led her to a writing coach, who helped her shop for an agent, who placed her memoir with a publisher that agreed to her request for a two-book contract. The long interval before the publication of the second suggests that it was a challenge to figure out where to go next with her story. Fate or destiny provided her with a narrative arc, as one of her earliest caretakers, a white woman who gave her the love she’d never had from her real mother, returned to her life as the book raised the author’s profile. As Louise recounts, her subsequent caseworker, a black woman, had insisted that she needed black foster parenting and thwarted the first woman’s attempt to provide the author with a stable home. Louise’s ambition to go to college was considered delusional, and her refusal to stay with families where she felt unloved or even threatened was seen as further evidence of her instability. She was often diagnosed and misdiagnosed, though, ultimately, she “was unwilling to be forever lost in the vapid landscape of a psychotropic daze.”
A sometimes-intriguing and occasionally moving patchwork of the moments left out of the author’s first memoir and what happened later.