Book Review: Three Little Words

Three Little Words by Ashley Rhodes-Courter

This amazing and epic tale begins as Ashley is being taken from her mother and her mother’s boyfriend, along with her half-brother Alex.  “Sunshine,” her mother says, “You must mind the one taking care of you, but she’s not your mama.”  Thus, the stage is set for years and years of yearning for mother, of setups and disappointments, mother’s drug problems, her unstable living situations, mother disappearing and reappearing for just long enough to deliver an Easy-Bake Oven, and then disappearing again.  Ashley is pushed and pulled and abruptly taken from 14 living situations in nine years.  She is taken in by family, the family loses her because of the grandfather’s behavior, she is placed in homes, then moved due to paperwork errors, then returned to homes, then moved on.  Sometimes she doesn’t even know why.  She is in good situations, okay situations, overcrowded situations, and abusive situations.  She meets well-meaning social workers, therapists, family therapists, doctors, and then finally a guardian ad litem who digs through it all to save her.

I warn you: this book will make you mad.  It may make you furious.  It will also make your eyes open to the conditions in some foster homes.  It will also, I hope, make you hopeful that survivors like Ashley are present in the world and will teach us how to survive the most overwhelming adversities.

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