If you're 19 years old and the only worldly wisdom your mother has to offer you is "Never screw a spider," it's time to look elsewhere for guidance. Wendy Lawless was smart enough to do just that, and she created a life of sanity for herself after a childhood of pure insanity. This is not a pleasant story, but it's so darned readable. Wendy keeps things rolling and never dwells too long on any event. Her mother, Georgann Rea, was a psycho nympho narcissistic alcoholic pathological liar. And a bit of a sadist, to boot. Georgann never earned a dime, but used her looks and manipulative skills to get men to keep her in high style. So Wendy and her sister grew up wealthy but neglected, and traumatized by their mother's cruelty and her fake suicide attempts. Distance from events helps to soften our focus, and the intervening 30 years allowed Wendy to write about her upbringing with equanimity, and even a twisted sense of humor. There's no self-pity here. Just directness and honesty.And now for my favorite dangling modifier. It could have been cleared up with a couple of well-placed commas, but it's more fun the way it's printed on page 173: "I was sitting on the floor outside one of the hotel ballrooms where they were holding the auditions in my leotard and wraparound skirt." Yeah, baby. Those are the auditions I'd like to see. Rating = 4.5 starsRecommended for those who like to study human behavior, but not if you need happy endings.