MJ Burke was raised by severely troubled parents. They began their relationship with an unexpected pregnancy and stayed together for tumultuous decades. His father was emotionally and physically abusive toward his mother, and she desperately tried to get him to love her while she was busy drinking herself to death. When MJ was in third grade, his mother was brutally assaulted coming home from the bar one night. MJ witnessed this, and his mother swore him to silence. Burke's memoir is often unreflective and meandering, and this collection of memories of a dysfunctional family and disturbing childhood would be more palatable if the author offered cohesive themes or more self-awareness.