Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
Reading Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc I firstly paid attention how narration is organized. It starts with Jessica’s youth and pretty much linearly follow her time-line as she grows up, so reader can see where she had a choice and made a good (or more often, a bad) one. But book’s focused not only on Jessica in these first chapters. Author spreads her telling and writes stories of people, who surround Jessica in her life. That’s what makes book social valuable.
I understand words from the title “random family” as a number of surrounding people, who have an influence on Jessica, and that’s not always relatives but people close enough to change her. Jessica has a full complex of factors making her go a way she goes: dysfunctional family, depressive district and bad examples all around her. She says: “I was never loved the way I wanted to be. Nobody in my family ever paid any attention to me” (LeBlanc, 10). And that seems true as we’re getting to know circumstances under which Lourdes made Jessica meet George. “She just sold her to me for a thousand dollars”, George latter said (LeBlanc, 19).
Author tells Jessica’s story and stories of people that surround Jessica (George, Cesar, etc.) and tells them pretty much without judgment. Book is non-fiction, and I can’t see any analysis here. LeBlanc’s way of writing made critics say, she’s condoning behavior of her heroes (Boynton). I don’t agree with that. As non-fiction is more about gathering information and facts I don’t think author wanted readers to come with some keen conclusions. More likely LeBlanc wanted to show a whole complicated picture of reasons and factors, which lead heroes of her book on their way and give a social-valuable true basis to discuss problems in this field.