The Girl's Guide to Homelessness

The Girl's Guide to Homelessness

A Memoir

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
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Karp delivers a heartwrenching and darkly funny memoir about her experience becoming homeless after losing her corporate job in the Great Recession.
Publisher: Don Mills, Ont. : Harlequin, 2011
ISBN: 9780373892358
Branch Call Number: 362.5 KAR 2011
Characteristics: 344 p

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c
ctkvlk
Feb 07, 2017

Fascinating peek into the world of the homeless. My husband and I were part of a church that reached out to the homeless and had a homeless friend crash on our couch for six weeks. There is a wide variety within that sector of society and it is interesting to see another viewpoint. Mostly about her long distance romance--also interesting. Author is a good writer and makes you want to keep up on her to see how/what she is doing now.

a
abcDena
Jul 25, 2016

I really wanted to READ THIS BOOK, especially because the author is so clearly talented...but it's starts off way darker than I anticipated and she refers to disturbing events so glibly -- I'm just not having it. I'll check her out in the future or skim this once I develop a tougher skin.

I loved her writing style...really interesting, playful at times, and quick moving.

s
SilverPine
Jul 14, 2016

I would like to extend a thank you to the other commentators.
In particular: "this book should have been called - - Living in a Trailer"
I would actually like to read a book titled Living in Trailer.
I watch the TV show "Tiny House Nation" as often as I can.

3
3romm3la
Jan 14, 2015

At the beginning of Ms. Karp's book, she quotes the US government's definition of "homeless" which includes people in her circumstances.
It sounded like she had several opportunities to save up and find a place to stay, but frittered her money away on a long-distance relationship. Of course, I doubt she was the first or will be the last to do something foolish in the name of love.
I found her detailed description of the emotional and sexual abuse she experienced when she was two years old hard to believe. It made me question how truthful the rest of her story was.
All in all, though, it's a well written and interesting book.

s
shymilj
Oct 04, 2014

I didn't enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. I felt sympathy for her because she clearly had limited choices in where she could have gone in escaping her family situation. I don't understand why she spent her money on things she really couldn't afford, or why she didn't focus on saving up so that she could get an apartment.

Her blog's most recent post is from October 2012, where she writes that she is living in an apartment. She posts about finding nice furniture from craigslist as well. I wish her the best in her future endeavors.

s
StarGladiator
Jun 10, 2014

This is a rather misleading book, as it doesn't concern living on the streets, but one person's scaled back living circumstances, who considers herself homeless, while flying overseas to meet with her Scottish boyfriend from time to time? It does, at least to a minor degree, mention economic homelessness, which is a growing factor of the times. Mightily agree with commenter, fmaack, this book should have been called - - Living in a Trailer!

JCLHelenH Jan 21, 2014

Similar the Cheryl Strayed's Wild, although Karp's time in living in a trailer in a Walmart parking lot is involuntary. Karp explores issues of homelessness, while inspecting her own notions born of a life of abuse and programming as a Jehovah's Witness.

c
CatherineLibrarian
Sep 22, 2013

Brianna Karp is an independent, strong, and intelligent woman. Her emotionally engaging memoir, Girl’s Guide to Homelessness is a testimony of her strength and independence. Karp had worked since the age of 10 but in 2008, like millions of other hardworking Americans, Karp was laid off as a result of a downsizing. Unsuccessful in the search for employment and without a functional and supportive family, Karp soon found herself without any options. “I was parked in a Walmart lot in a trailer with my dog. I was scared and alone. I was homeless.”

Girl’s Guide to Homelessness actively challenges our assumptions and judgments of homeless people. Karp shares how she became homeless, survived without a permanent address, and how she was able to turn unrelenting adversity into small triumph and self-awareness. This book cannot step lightly around issues such as religious zealotry, child abuse, violence, mental illness, suicide, or drug addiction. Not unlike many homeless and struggling individuals these are core parts of Karp’s story. Because of its content and honesty Brianna Karp’s story should be at the top of everyone’s must read list. It will change our perceptions of what it means to be without a home.

schen9 Jun 24, 2012

I thought this was an important book in bringing the multifaceted issue of homelessness to the light, but I did not think the writing did the issue justice. Karp comes across as subjective to the point of being unbelievable. The way she always portrayed herself as logical and right really rubbed me the wrong way. I think this would have been a stronger book if she had taken a longer time for reflection instead of writing the book while going through the events in it.

nycakaren Jan 22, 2012

Self-consciously clever and chatty. The author's attempts at sophistication disappointed me. This book lacked the honesty I was hoping for.

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