All the Pretty Things (Edie Wadsworth)



“The night the trailer burned down, I think Daddy was the one who set it on fire. . . . “

For a long time, Edie thought she had escaped. It started in an Appalachian trailer park, where a young girl dreamed of becoming a doctor. But every day, Edie woke up to her reality: a poverty-stricken world where getting out seemed impossible. Where, at twelve years old, she taught herself to drive a truck so she could get her drunk daddy home from the bar. Where the grownups ate while the children went hungry. Where, when the family trailer burned down, she couldn’t be caught squawlin’ over losing her things–she just had to be grateful anyone had remembered to save her at all.

And at the center of it all, there was her daddy. She never knew when he would show up; she learned the hard way that she couldn’t count on him to protect her. But it didn’t matter: All she wanted was to make him proud. Against all odds, Edie “made doctor,” achieving everything that had once seemed beyond her reach. But her past caught up with her–and it would take her whole life burning down once again for Edie to be finally able to face the truth about herself, her family, and her relationship with God. Readers of The Glass Castle will treasure this refreshing and raw redemption story, a memoir for anyone who has ever hungered for home, forgiveness, and the safe embrace of a father’s love.

“And so began my life with the most wonderful and heartbreaking man I would ever know.”

I get this book. I relate to it and I understand Edie so well that it hurts me. I too, have a father like Edie did. He was my best friend and he was the best guy that I had ever known for thirteen straight years. Until he drank and did drugs. I too, had and still have a mother who saved me and was there for me every step of the way. So my connection with Edie was not where the struggle laid. I understood every single thought she had and every single step she took.

Ultimately, non-fiction is hard for me to read, this I have come to understand but I felt like this one flowed well enough for me to comprehend and follow. I did struggle with the speed of the book. The timeline once Edie hit a certain age (probably the last half of the book) just ZOOMED right on by that I had a hard time keeping up with what was happening and when. With the timeline going so quick and jumping I got rather confused and had to back track a lot which in turn made me more confused and asking more questions. The narrator was also very vague about a lot of the things that occurred to her which in turns leave a lot more unanswered questions for me.

All in all, I enjoyed this read. I enjoyed the symbolism of the title and o enjoyed Edie’s struggle to adapt and care for her father. Most importantly, having a father like that is so hard. It’s draining and it’s exhausting. But he’s your dad, you wouldn’t change it for anything. Edie did a fantastic job at portraying a daughters devotion to her father.


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