Ghellow Road is billed as a "literary diary of a young girl's journey through the tangled labyrinth that is her life." It most certainly is that, and much more. T. H. Waters' story is a painful one, but her willingness to share it with people is quite admirable.
I don't want to give away too much of the story so as not to spoil it for those of you who would like to read it, and I do recommend that you do, but suffice it to say that Theresa Waters has more thrown at her in her early years than a lot of people have to deal with in a lifetime. Her mother is mentally ill, and in and out of hospitals; her father desperately tries to hold the family together, but is eventually overwhelmed by the task; and she is shifted from one temporary home to another, passed among relatives and friends, all the while trying to maintain some semblence of normalcy with her school activities and friends.
This is a tragic story to read, but this lady actually lived it, and managed to triumph over the worst of circumstances. It does indeed give you hope for the human race. You keep turning the pages cheering for Theresa, wanting so badly for things to smooth out in her life, and I was amazed at her resilience. In tone, the book reminded me of another coming of age story that has gotten a lot of press lately, "The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls. Sometimes life throws a LOT at you. These women learned to persevere under incredible circumstances, and not be bitter and give back what they got, but to reflect love and be successful despite great obstacles. There are life lessons to be learned here.