The story of one girl's heroic struggle to overcome the lower-middle class obstacles that stood between her and the world she knew she could call her oyster, Dark at the Roots limns the absurdities of growing up funny in the deep south.
When Sarah Thyre was barely out of diapers, her father started referring to her as the "family liar," though no particular incident had provoked this designation. Undaunted by her label, Sarah started referring to herself as Renee and creating scenarios that would help her assimilate up from her chaotic family into a higher social calling. But even as she was clipping an alligator logo off of one shirt to sew onto another, her place in the middle - of her family, her neighborhood, her school, her country - kept humbling her back to just plain Sarah.
In Dark at the Roots, Sarah is catapulted from the relative safety of a nuclear family, through the years of her mother going it alone with five mouths to feed with a steady diet of pasta and fried eggs, to the teenage years where wearing a school uniform was a godsend to a girl unable to afford the latest fashions ... if only she would have admitted it. In this telling, Sarah's inimitable sense of humor and resolve are both honed to a fine, sharp point. And though it is occasionally young Sarah who is skewered, she manages to turn her pain into punch lines, leaving little room for doubt that this is how a true humorist is built.
Whether it is a scene where small Sarah accidentally goes "poddy" in the garage during a game of hide-and-seek or medium-sized Sarah survives a fishing trip with her volatile father, or full-sized Sarah wrestles with a tooth she calls "Uncle Wiggly" and all he represents, grown-up Sarah tells her story with self-effacing sincerity and a seemingly invincible sense of humor. With its spare, razor-sharp prose and precision timing, Dark at the Roots emerges as not just a humorous memoir, but a powerful, universal testament to surviving one's rearing and living to laugh in the face of it all....Continua