Somebody's Daughter: A Memoir
Ashley C. Ford
Ashley C. Ford, cohost of HBO's Lovecraft Country Radio podcast, pens a gripping memoir of growing up as the oldest child with a complex single mother, siblings she adored and an incarcerated father.
Young Ashley loves to read, looks after her siblings and pines for her mother's love. Many in her extended Black family offer her warmth and encouragement. But her maturing body betrays her, attracting the unwanted attention of adults and peers alike, and after she's raped, she chooses silence rather than risk her mother's disbelief and punishment. She finds refuge in the library, and after school through hallway conversations with mostly supportive teachers--until one man suggests her behavior is "inappropriate." There are few safe places for Ashley, and she must essentially raise herself. The memoir opens with a letter from Ford's father in prison, then a scene in which her mother phones to say he's getting out. More than halfway into the memoir, young Ashley learns what put him there.