I’ve read a bunch of memoirs in the last few years that all felt like they were trying to be the next “Educated.” The problem with these books is that aside from one quirk or unique aspect of the authors’ lives, there wasn’t really that much to fill a book. “Nowhere Girl” is not like that one bit. In fact, it’s clear that Cheryl Diamond could have written many books on the interesting pathways her life has taken over the years.
Diamond was born into a family that was consistently on the run for decades. Each time they fled to a different place with her two siblings, she was given a new identity to assume. Like the book jacket says, by the time she was nine, she’d lived in more than 12 different countries on five different continents. This crazy-making lifestyle (what Diamond refers to as her fugitive childhood) would have been interesting enough to fill an entire book. But it’s the family she’s surrounded by that truly makes the book fascinating. As the book progresses, the reader learns more about each family member that makes Diamond’s life even more dangerous. This grit and candidness serve as a solid way for the reader to become even more entrenched in Diamond’s life and storytelling.
My favorite aspect of this book was the pacing. It truly read like a suspenseful thriller. The reader never knows when Diamond’s luck will run out – when she’ll at last get caught from whomever the family is running from. Few memoirs read with this breathless kind of rush – but “Nowhere Girls” certainly moves at a breakneck speed.
This book would not have worked if Diamond hadn’t decided to be completely honest, brutally so at times. My only complaint of the entire book was that there was one major life event that occurred that was severely lacking on details (and ended up making me feel like I missed something important). Other than that, this compelling memoir had me captivated (and thankful for the more traditional life I’ve led!).
I’ll be recommending this memoir to anyone who wants a glimpse into a chaotic and thrilling life on the run. Hopefully, Diamond has more stories to tell in the future – I’ll definitely be reading them!
*Free ARC provided by Algonquin Books in exchange for an honest review*