Growing up with a difficult mother, a sexually abusive acquaintance and an awful diet—“A typical meal might be spaghetti with butter, salt, and pepper on it or potatoes with butter, salt, and pepper….No fruit, no vegetables, no nutrients, in my mind”—Hill had a childhood that was far from simple. Born in 1949 in an America still in the thralls of racial discrimination, Hill, who is black, found that race was always an issue. And whether in the form of institutional segregation, the views espoused by her mother or in the opinions of other people, race is a frequent issue throughout the book. In response to her outgoing personality as a child, Hill says, “I was singled out as an ‘Oreo,’ people saying that I was ‘trying to be white.’ ” Despite racial animosity, a teenage pregnancy, and a variety of other trials ranging from learning to drive to learning to forgive, the author nonetheless relates a success story founded on hard work and an unfaltering belief in God. After developing a desire to become an electroencephalogram technician, she overcame adversity through perseverance, a faith in the Almighty, and a general belief that everything happens for a reason. “Through tenacity, I know that what happened to me was not accidental—was not coincidental, but providential,” she says. Alive with details and inner reflections, the book makes the author’s journey a truly personal one, with the different stages of her life made real and understandable for readers. Why did she become so entranced with becoming an EEG technician? Why was it so important for her to learn how to drive? The answers here are fleshed out with the thought processes that surrounded them. Occasional portions (such as early struggles with her mother) can prove repetitive, yet the overall result is an authentic, ultimately triumphant story.
An inspirational memoir born from the fruits of hard work and faith.