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Virtual Book Club February Pick – Nowhere Girl: A Memoir of a Fugitive Childhood by Cheryl Diamond

Nowhere Girl: A Memoir of a Fugitive Childhood, by Cheryl Diamond, is the story of growing up in circumstances that feel normal because they are all that she knows. Diamond and her family traversed many countries and continents in what seemed like an adventure but was really a tactic to flee law enforcement. She describes trying on many identities as she comes of age and details her struggle to know who she really was and to find a sense of trust and stability in the world. We will be discussing this book on February 17th, 2022 at 5:30 pm on Zoom. You can register for this discussion on our event page. You can check out this book in print, as an eBook on Overdrive/Libby or on Hoopla, and in eAudio on Hoopla.

Library Journal says that Nowhere Girl “is compulsively readable; for fans of suspense novels or memoirs like Tyler Wetherall’s No Way Home.”  The New York Journal of Books blog provides this comparison: “Like Tara Westover’s Educated, Cheryl Diamond’s memoir tells the harrowing story of how crippling a childhood can be under the despotic narcissistic rule of a controlling father . . . Diamond has a powerful story to tell, and she tells it well, creating strong characters and settings, describing the complicated motivations of her parents and older siblings, all while conveying her yearning for ‘normalcy,’ whatever that is.” You can also listen to Cheryl Diamond talk about her life, her family, and her memoir on episode 95 of the podcast Sarah’s Bookshelves from September 2021.

After a tumultuous, nomadic childhood of life on the run, which she chronicles in Nowhere Girl, Cheryl Diamond became a fashion model at 16. She published her experiences as a young model in her first book, Model: A Memoir, at age 21. According to her website, she currently resides in Rome and obeys the law…most of the time.

The life altering realities of people who find themselves in situations beyond their control are revealed in these titles in the same vein as Nowhere Girl.

Don’t You Ever: My Mother and Her Secret Son by Mary Carter Bishop, 2018

The discovery of a half-brother leads the author to meet him and reckon with how different their childhoods were – hers privileged, and his in poverty and abuse. This title is available for checkout in print, as an eBook on Hoopla, and in eAudio on Hoopla.

Duped: Double Lives, False Identities, and the Con Man I Almost Married by Abby Ellin, 2019

After a short and passionate courtship, Abby Ellin is proposed to by “the Commander” and accepts. But she learns that his mysterious life of espionage was nothing but lies. This leads her on an investigative journey into how and why people get duped. This title is available for checkout in print and as an eBook on Libby.

The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, 2017

Working on the case of a man on death row forces Marzano-Lesnevich to confront their past and interrogate how they feel about the death penalty. This title is available for checkout in print, as an eBook on Libby, and in eAudio on Libby.

The Less People Know About Us: A Mystery of Betrayal, Family Secrets and Stolen Identity by Axton Betz-Hamilton, 2019

As an 11-year-old, the author’s world is turned upside down when her and her parents’ identities are stolen. In a time before computers, police were baffled by the case and unable to offer the support and services the family needed to recuperate. As she grows up, Betz-Hamilton is followed by ruined credit and debt from this experience, and then a shocking secret comes to light, throwing her whole childhood into a different perspective. This title is available for checkout in print, as an eBook on Libby, and as an eAudio on Libby.

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