Book review

Most often interesting and fast-moving

on March 14, 2013

“Candid Confessions” is a revealing memoir in which we are presented with a person whose upbringing was so dysfunctional it engenders a certain amount of sympathy on the part of the reader. The author is a gender variant individual whose struggles to overcome her inner demons became the basis for her life direction. This is an often interesting, fast-moving and extremely raw thriller, written in the language of the streets. Although it could have been better edited, I enjoyed it for what it was, a first person tale of a violence-filled and drug-addicted existence. The writer is an individual whose code of conduct was modeled on the stormy, addictive, abusive and often criminal activities of her parents. Sad to say, her maladaptive life skills were further honed on the seamy streets of downtown LA as a sex worker and polysubstance, drug-seeking addict.

The author has long struggled to come to terms with her poor upbringing, co-dependent nature, habitual drug taking, alcoholism and criminal recidivism. It would be a gross understatement to say that she didn’t always make the best decisions. In fact, she often made such poor choices and hurt so many innocent and not-so-innocent victims that she served extensive time locked up in California jails and prisons for criminal activities. Some of her crimes concerned substance abuse violations while others were of a more violent nature, of the type that make headlines in the tabloids and cause the reader to gasp in disbelief. In search of happiness, redemption and a solution to her incessant and recurrent problems, the author eventually got involved in what appears to have been a religious cult. When that didn’t work, she eventually went full circle, going back to drugs and immersing herself in the porn industry. Descriptions of arrests, incarcerations and a life on the run pepper this book.

Where this book sometimes falls short is that the author, although acknowledging some of her mistakes, does not appear to take full responsibility for the harm she has caused others. By and large, she presents herself as a victim of circumstances who has somehow finally gotten her life into balance at present. However, as she does not appear to have ever sought or gotten professional assistance in terms of her psychological problems and substance abuse issues, one wonders if her current stability is somewhat precarious and illusory. Given that the best predictor of future behavior is the past, we see a new life possibly built upon a flimsy foundation. Continuously seeking deliverance from the stain of her background and the drug and gender demons with which she struggled, at the book’s conclusion the author appears to have finally become involved in a successful relationship and is ostensibly clean and sober. However, one wonders when her demons may strike again. Hopefully though, she will somehow make it all work.

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