Sisters Amy and Zoe grow up in Oklahoma where they are homeschooled for an unexpected reason: Zoe suffers from debilitating and mysterious seizures, spending her childhood in hospitals as she undergoes surgeries. Meanwhile, Amy flourishes intellectually, showing an innate ability to glean a world beyond the troubles in her home life, exploring that world through languages first. Amy’s first love appears in the form of her Russian tutor Sasha, but when she enters university at the age of fifteen her life changes drastically and with tragic results.
I read this book in one go, thought « this was amazing, probably just a bit too bleak to be a believable story ». Then I opened The Storygraph to mark it as complete and found out it was a memoir.
I really liked the division of the book into short scenes of daily life, or of an extraordinary nature. The love of languages and the loathing of every horrible thing life can throw at us meshed into a heartbreaking story that I think I’ll read over and over and over, when I’m ready to face it again.