The Strays reads like a memoir and introduces the reader to Lily and Eva and Eva’s eccentric parents. Lily’s home is dour with working class, blue-collar parents. Lily is an only child and gravitates towards Eva and her vastly different and crazy household. Eva’s parents essentially live in a commune of artists and her parents are neglectful in their parenting duties. Parties run late into the night and are fueled with alcohol and weed. Eva’s dad lets jealousy get the best of him and the co-existence of multiple artists living together only works if there is one star. Eva and Lily easily get sucked into the debauchery and Lily distances herself from her ordinary life as much as possible.

[alert variation=”alert-info”]Publisher: Twelve
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Kindle
Purchase: Powell’s | Amazon | IndieBound | iBooks[/alert]

Bitto writes as if the story is very personal. She provides intimate details as if the story depicts her own experiences. This reviewer loved being exposed to the crazy artists and their friends. Bitto’s portrayal of Lily’s stark existence versus Eva’s chaos made for interesting reading. Dysfunction reined though and it was easy to see where the story was going to end. Jealousy, poor parenting, and large egos all had its place in the novel. If hedonistic lifestyles interest potential readers, they will fully enjoy this wild tale.

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