When their house was foreclosed upon, Kenny's mother absconded with him and his beloved dog and fled for the Arizona desert, joining her heroin-addicted brother on a quixotic search for a better life. What followed was an outlaw adolescence spent in constant upheaval surrounded by bizarre characters and drug-addicted souls.
In the wake of unspeakable loss, Kenny convinced a college to take a chance on him, and turned to the mentors, writers, and poets he found to rebuild the family he lost, and eventually graduated from the Ivy League with a new life.
Porpora's memoir is the story of a deeply dysfunctional but loving family, and follows his life from the chaos of his youth to his triumphs in the Ivy League. At times darkly comic, at times elegiac, The Autumn Balloon is a beautifully written testament to the irreplaceable bonds of family, even under the most trying circumstances, and one that marks the debut of an exciting new writer.
Read from March 09 to 13, 2015
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway for an honest review. Thank you!
I don't even know where to begin! I totally fell in love with this book. Kenny has a most dysfunctional family, but there is love under all of the craziness.
His mother is an alcoholic and his father is so much older, people think he is his grandfather. He has an older brother as well. And a sweet beloved little dog that he names Wolzels. The Regis and Kathy Lee show had the North Shore Animal League on one of their programs with the dog up for adoption. Kenny really wanted her and his mother got her for him. They live a long and happy life together.
Kenny and his brother Stephen get separated for a bit of time. Kenny with is mom and the dog and Stephen with his father.
His father ends up getting custody of both boys, even though they would rather live with their mother. The thing I don't understand is how in the world can you take the kids away from a mother that is an alcoholic and the dad takes them to live in the basement of some creeps, the man being a pedophile that hurts the little girl that lives there. They have a pig in the house and nasty filth everywhere. It takes their mom fighting and the boys finally saying they want to live with her for them to get back. I mean when the people come to investigate this stuff and the smell hits them at the door they don't think it's a place children shouldn't live! I feel bad and angry for children that the system don't help very well.
I don't want to give too much more away but this story is so wonderful and so sad. There are many times I'm cracking up over the things their mom says. They have a crazy dynamic that just works for them. Their mother loves them so much and cleans up a lot of times and gets on track.
The good thing is the boys both get to go to college and become and Kenny gets to become what he wants.
There is plenty of heartache, deaths, victories and a lot of love. It makes you see that not everything is perfect in the world but if you have people that love you and fight for you then you have all that you need. 5 Stars