A prize-winning, best-selling, rivetingly dark and funny memoir of a most unusual girl growing up in a small town near Niagara Falls in the 1950s.
It is the mid-1950s in Lewiston, a sleepy town near Niagara Falls, famous only for the invention for the cocktail. Divorce is unheard of, mothers wear high heels to the beauty salon, and television has only just arrived.
But with no siblings to provide role models; a workaholic father chosen by most of her class as Lewiston's present-day saint; a mother who looks the part of the perfect, 50s housewife but refuses to play it ("We ate all of our dinners in restaurants . . . Our fridges contains only allergy serum, coke and maraschino cherries. Our oven was only turned on to dry wet mittens on the door and the only cooking smell I remember from my youth is that of burning wool"); and a gambling-obsessed best friend, Roy, who is 30 years older, perhaps it's hardly surprising that Cathy grows up a little eccentric.
Especially considering that the family's doctor's prescription for the hyperactivity is a full-time job in her father's pharmacy - at four.