Reading Brianna Karp’s memoir of losing her job, home, and family reminded me in many ways of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild. Except instead of embarking on a months-long solo hike, as Strayed did, Karp faces the challenges of living in a trailer in a Walmart parking lot. With no water or electricity. Frustration at Brianna’s “unwise” choices (surrounding her involvement with a fellow homeless gent) is always followed by a heart-wrenching family story that would have left me a gelatinous blob.
Most compelling are Karp’s explorations of her own potential racism, degree of homelessness, family history, as well as the right of the homeless to experience joy. Raised a Jehovah’s Witness, Karp is very conscience of the programming that influences her behavior, often times against her will.