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That Mean Old Yesterday

by Stacey Patton

That Mean Old Yesterday is an astonishing coming-of-age memoir by a young woman who survived the foster care system to become an award-winning journalist. No one would ever imagine that the vibrant, smart, and attractive Stacey Patton had a childhood from hell. Once a foster child who found a home, she was supposed to be among the lucky. On a rainy night in November 1999,a shoeless Stacey, promising student at NYU, headed down a New Jersey street toward her adoptive parents' house. She carried a gun in her pocket, and she kept repeating to herself that she would pull the trigger. She wanted to kill them. Or so she thought. This is a story of how a typical American family can be undermined by its own effort to be perfect on the surface. After all, with God-fearing, house-proud, and hardworking adoptive parents, Stacey appeared to beat the odds. But her mother was tyrannical, and her father, either so in love with or in fear of his wife, turned a blind eye to the abuse she heaped on their love-starved little girl. In That Mean Old Yesterday, a little girl rises above the tyranny of an overzealous mother by channeling her intellectual energy into schoolwork. Wise beyond her years, she can see that her chances for survival are advanced through her struggle to get into an elite boarding school. She uses all she has, a brilliant mind, to link her experience to the legacy of American slavery and to successfully frame her understanding of why her good adoptive parents did terrible things to her by realizing that they had terrible things done to them.

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