Saturday, February 16, 2008

Three Little Words: A Memoir

Three Little Words: A Memoir by Ashley Rhodes-Courter

On our weekly jaunt to the bookstore yesterday I picked up this book and read the whole thing in the cafe. I was immediately captivated by the author's vivid descriptions of her life and the people in it. Ashley and a younger half-brother were removed from her mother and step-father's care and moved around in the Florida foster-care system for years. Foster homes ranged from okay to really really bad. Most were overcrowded. [One couple was prosecuted for the things they did to the children in their care but received very little punishment for their crimes.] Finally landing in a children's orphanage, Phil and Gay Courter came forward to adopt Ashley. Tragically, the younger half-brother's adoption didn't work out and he was returned to the orphanage.

The conversations ring true, the feelings are very poignant, the healing shows in this book. This book will not rip you raw in the way that Dave Peltzer's writing does. It may leave you with a gut feeling that the foster care system is broken and a desire to be part of the change necessary.
Especially compelling is the list toward the end of the book of the sheer numbers of people who were supposed to protect Ashley while she was in the system.

Recommended for those readers who like this sort of thing and wish something beyond the oh-poor-me syndrome.

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