Brianna Karp entered the workforce at age ten, supporting her mother and sister throughout her teen years in Southern California. Although her young life was scarred by violence and abuse, Karp stayed focused on her dream of a steady job and a home of her own. Read more...
Brianna Karp entered the workforce at age ten, supporting her mother and sister throughout her teen years in Southern California. Although her young life was scarred by violence and abuse, Karp stayed focused on her dream of a steady job and a home of her own. By age twenty-two her dream became reality. Karp loved her job as an executive assistant and signed the lease on a tiny cottage near the beach.
And then the Great Recession hit. Karp, like millions of others, lost her job. In the six months between the day she was laid off and the day she was forced out onto the street, Karp scrambled for temp work and filed hundreds of job applications, only to find all doors closed. When she inherited a thirty-foot travel trailer after her father's suicide, Karp parked it in a Walmart parking lot and began to blog about her search for work and a way back.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-03-14
- Reviewer: Staff
In this candid and wickedly humorous memoir, Karp recounts her struggles of going from having a steady job to living in a trailer in a Southern California Wal-Mart parking lot in a matter of days. Raised in a Jehovah's Witness household, Karp endured sexual abuse from her father (who later abandoned the family) as well as mental and physical abuse by her mother. Despite this, as well as being forced by her mother to get a job at age 10, she excelled in school and had a well-paying job as an executive assistant when she was 22. But in the wake of the recession, Karp was laid off after TK years, and, unable to pay rent or stay with her mother and stepfather, had to live in a 30-foot trailer she'd recently inherited. Taking advantage of Wal-Mart's policy of allowing RVs and trailers to stay in their parking lots overnight, Karp "moved" to a parking lot, spending her days at Starbucks using the Wi-Fi connection to search for jobs. When a friend suggested blogging about her experience, she started www.girlsguidetohomelessness.com and connected with other homeless activists; soon, her story went viral. Karp's voice is instantly appealing, and her message that basic respect shouldn't disappear when you lose your home is a vital one. (May)