The author grew up in Danvers, Massachusetts, a working-class, unforgiving town north of Boston where in the 17th century women were hanged as witches, in a trash-filled house on a dead-end road surrounded by a river and a salt marsh. Her mother, Kathi, a notorious local figure, was a drug addict and sometimes dealer whose life swung between welfare and riches. And yet she managed, despite the chaos she created, to instill in her daughter a love of stories. Kathi frequently kept her daughter home from school to watch such classics as the Godfather movies and everything by Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen. Despite the fact that there was not a book to be found in her household, Domenica developed a love of reading, which helped her believe that she could transcend this life of undying grudges, self-inflicted misfortune, and the crooked moral code that Kathi and her cohorts lived by. This is the story of the author's unconventional coming of age, a chronicle of a misfit '90s youth and the necessary and painful act of breaking away, and of overcoming her own addictions and demons in the process.