Ken Tucker
March 16, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Dark at the Roots

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Sarah Thyre
publisher
Counterpoint
genre
Nonfiction, Memoir

We gave it an A-

EW PICK

As a precocious girl in the ’70s, Sarah Thyre, the author of Dark at the Roots, moved from Missouri to Louisiana with her lower-middle-class Catholic family. She found her new surroundings stultifying (cheerfully insufferable, she made her English teacher cry by repeatedly correcting her misuse of the apostrophe). Armed with lessons gleaned from Judy Blume novels and A Tale of Two Cities (”the machinations of Madame DeFarge were evil to be twice savored”), Thyre handily survived both school and her parents’ split. This names-are-altered memoir is part Mary Karr, part Jean Kerr (Please Don’t Eat the Liars’ Club?), written with plenty of snap and no self-pity.

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