Fedden, Victoria. “This Is Not My Beautiful Life: A Memoir”, Picador, 2016.
Jailbird Parents and the Loss of a Mind
Victoria Fedden got quite a surprise when federal agents stormed her parents’ home. She was very pregnant and her baby was due soon. On top of that, her parents were named the alleged masterminds of a pump and dump scheme, Now she has to figure out how to raise a child after learning that her parents were criminals. The only hope that she has is that Bradford Cohen, a famous criminal attorney will be able to prove them not guilty.
Fedden lost her parents to the Department of Corrections and she almost lost her mind over everything that transpired. We become immediately aware that that Fedden’s life is never dull. After all, how many people have parents that are criminals?
Here is a story filled with and almost unbelievable events and characters and while it really seems to be impossible, it actually happened. I particularly love that she refers to her parents as big-hearted criminals. Fedden shows that sometimes family ties can be so tight that they strangle the members of the family. Somehow Fedden manages to get touching humanity into her story that grounds it a bit.
I was drawn and already laughing on the first page and continued to laugh all the way through. Not to be missed is the way Fedden describes her pregnancy. Her sarcasm is wonderful and I so badly needed to laugh so this book was a bit of sunshine for me on a very rainy day. We do not get descriptions of such maladies as depression, anxiety, and insecurity like we find here. It is Fedden’s attitude about life that won me over and I have the feeling that I will be reading this again…and….again.