Lullabies For Little Criminals Heather ONeill

ISBN: 9781847246752

Published: 2008


Lullabies For Little Criminals  by  Heather ONeill

Lullabies For Little Criminals by Heather ONeill
2008 | | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, AUDIO, mp3, ZIP | | ISBN: 9781847246752 | 5.57 Mb

A down-and-dirty debut novel, a harrowing recital of a young life, a funny, innocent, streetwise telling of life on the street--all of the above describe Heather ONeills Lullabies for Little Criminals. In an autobiographical essay included in the book, ONeill, whose own childhood parallels rather closely the life of Baby, her books heroine, says, In Lullabies, I wanted to capture what I remembered of the drunken babbling of unfortunate twelve-year-olds: their illusions- their ludicrously bad choices, their lack of morality and utter disbelief in cause and effect.

She accomplishes all of the above and more. Baby is born to two 15-year-olds, and her mother dies a year later. Her father, Jules, is not a bad man, but he is a perpetual kid, without money, education, purpose, moral compass, or any idea of what being a parent is about or how ordinary people live. When the novel begins, Baby is almost 12, and her 12th year turns out to be a very big one indeed. She smokes pot, shoots heroin, loses her virginity, and lives in foster homes, a state detention home, and one seedy, squalid apartment after another.

She comes under the spell of Alphonse, a neighborhood pimp, and is so hungry for male affection that she mistakes what he offers for love and care.Baby and her equally neglected and abused friends long for adulthood, whatever that means. They look up to sophisticated druggies and efficient thieves. Baby says, I dont know why I was upset about not being an adult. It was right around the corner. Becoming a child again is what is impossible. Thats what you have a legitimate reason to be upset over.

Baby is matter-of-fact about her predicament. She knows that other kids have lives very different from hers but says, It never occurs to you when you are very young to need something other than what your parents have to offer to you. This poignant story is beautifully written, sprinkled throughout with humor, pathos, unbelievable privation, and, in the end, the hope of redemption.

At least we know that Heather ONeill grew up to be a writer of no mean accomplishment. --Valerie Ryan

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