Jaquira Diaz spent her childhood in Puerto Rico and then Miami. Her mother was a schizophrenic drug addict, her father worked hard but was undemonstrative and insensitive to her feelings and predicaments, and her older brother was physically abusive. Although she had a positive relationship with her paternal grandmother and her younger sister, their love wasn’t enough to help Jaquira while she was growing up. She was a juvenile delinquent and was taken into custody numerous times before her sixteenth birthday. Diaz was a truant who began drinking and taking drugs at age eleven, the year she first attempted suicide. Ordinary Girls is Jaquira Diaz’s life-its horrors and triumphs.
This memoir is a difficult read. The author describes her life in harsh, graphic language. Her upbringing was deprived and violent in so many ways-some of which were her own fault. , Ordinary Girls is very well written, but it certainly is not for everyone.