Brooklyn Bred by David Garrahan
Brooklyn Bred is a memoir. It recounts the history of his life from age 2 to 81. Born into a dysfunctional family with a mentally unstable mother and an absentee alcoholic father. The author was homeless in Brooklyn at age six, sleeping in churches and stealing food to survive. From 1944 to 1952 he sells newspapers and shines shoes in Brooklyn to provide for food and pay the $17 monthly rent. In 1952, his mother sits the author and his sister at the kitchen table and calmly tells them “I love you, but I am going to kill you now…don’t worry, you are good children and you will go straight to Heaven”. With butcher knife in hand, she chases the author and his sister 11 long blocks thru Brooklyn right into the 94 Police Precinct where she attacks the officer at the desk. Mrs. Garrahan is taken to Bellevue Hospital. She is confined to Brooklyn State Hospital for the Criminally Insane for 9 years. The author graduates from high school, and studies at seven universities, receiving a Master’s degree from Lehigh University and a Doctoral degree from Columbia University. He conducts research on addiction and publishes numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals, as well as four books. Dr. Garrahan has been honored twice in Rose Garden ceremonies at the White House. He is the recipient of several awards and honors. His memoir is the history of a life from ‘rags to riches’.
Book review for Brooklyn Bred:
Brooklyn Bred by David Garrahan is an extraordinary autobiographical account of the author’s life spanning 79 years. It is a compelling story of his astonishing journey from a traumatic poverty stricken, abusive upbringing to a life of courage, determination, accomplishments and personal success.
The first part of this memoir is graphic and emotive as it details a young life lacking in affection, love, and the basic necessities of food and clothing. With a mother who suffered with detrimental and violent mental health issues, and a father who was rarely seen, it is a wonder David and his brother Artie were able to survive. Using his resourcefulness and resorting to whatever it took to find a meal, David Garrahan managed to get through his early years of neglect and lack to reach adulthood, although not unscathed mentally and emotionally. The author then recounts his miraculous determination and fortitude to leave his dreadful childhood behind and make something of his life. It details his unbelievable struggles, his amazing successes, and the part that luck played in his various encounters.
This book is heart-rending, yet inspirational. The deprivation that the author experienced, the hurt and rejection, and his strength of character in being able to rise above all the negatives in his life and to turn them into positives – is undeniably astounding and inspiring.
Brooklyn Bred is a well written, fascinating and gripping true life story of one man’s childhood struggles which would seemly incapacitate him for life. But, instead he rose up with strength, motivation and intelligence to become a man of importance and success while achieving his dreams and goals. Brooklyn Bred fully exceeded my expectations as an incredible rags to riches story. It is thought-provoking with heart-wrenching moments while interspersed with comments relating to the author’s present-day journey back to the place of his childhood, while sharing those times and memories with his wife. Author David Garrahan is candid and honest, being determined to tell his story from the heart, and unafraid of the consequences of admitting to some of the difficult decisions and actions that he took. The inclusion of personal family photographs is a worthy addition and brings clarity and validity to the work.
The intensity of the authentic emotive writing leaves the reader with the strong feeling that they know David Garrahan personally, and as if they have accompanied him on his life journey. His concentrated persistence, triumphant life accomplishments and inspiring achievements is an encouragement to others to realize that whatever life may throw at you, find your inner strength and be an overcomer. Artisan Book Reviews highly recommends Brooklyn Bred by David Garrahan – for an exciting, page turning and thought-provoking reading experience unlike any other. Book review for Brooklyn Bred written by Jane Finch for Artisan Book Reviews.