A Piece of Cake

A Piece of Cake

A Memoir

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Eleven-year-old Cupcake Brown woke up on the bicentennial and found her mother still in bed. She struggled to wake her up, pushing and pulling until she managed to tug her mother's lifeless corpse onto her own small body, crushing her beneath its dead weight. After squeezing out from under her mother, Cupcake calmly walked over to the phone and called her aunt Lori. "Lori, my momma's dead."

Here is the threshold of a hell for young Cupcake. Rather than being allowed to live with the man she believed to be her father--who turns out to have been her stepfather--she is forced into a foster home where the kids were terrorized, the refrigerator padlocked, and Cupcake sexually abused. She eventually fled the house, only to find herself wandering from misadventure to misadventure in the "system," while also developing a massive appetite for drugs and alcohol, an appetite she paid for by turning tricks. She settled down in Los Angeles and found a home in the Crips, where she was taken in and befriended by gangsters like the legendary "Monster" Kody Scott. For the first time she found a family, but when Cupcake was blasted in the back with a 12-gauge shotgun, she was once more taken in by the system.

At 16, her stepfather reeneters her life and engineers an "emancipation," in which the courts declare her an adult and free her, finally, from the child welfare system. Cup takes advantage of her new freedom to start a drug-dealing operation with her stepfather, who also manages a stable of colorful prostitutes. Soon she meets a man, falls in love, and gets married. He convinces her to get a real job and learn to speak proper English--but he also abuses her and introduces her to crack cocaine. Cupcake flits from job to job, miraculously, given that she never fails to show up without some cocktail of narcotics floating in her system.

She hits rock bottom when, in desperation, she steals crack from her drug dealer. He beats her nearly to death, rapes her, and then leaves her body behind a dumpster. Cupcake wakes up days later, not sure of how she ended up in this state and from that moment begins to turn her life around. She was adopted by a lawyer who ran the law firm where she "worked," and slowly he assisted her in kicking the habit--with the help of an eccentric group of fellow addicts who became, at last, a family to her--and catching up on her education. With the support of her new family, she eventurally goes all the way to law school (although not without a few additional misadventures along the way) and joins one of the top law firms in the country.

Cupcake's story is an inspiring, at times hilarious, often distrubing, and deeply moving account of a singular woman who took on the worst of contemporary urban life and survived it with wit and a ferocious will. It updates classic memoirs like I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Makes Me Wanna Holler , and gives a bold and gritty spin to contemporary memoirs like Finding Fish . At the center of it, Cupcake is a charming and inspiring narrator through the inferno of her life.

From the Compact Disc edition.
Published: New York :, Crown
Copyright Date: ©2006
ISBN: 9780307345479
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file, rda


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May 29, 2016

This addiction and recovery memoir is so special because unlike other authors, Cupcake Brown takes us through her recovery story. She details how relying on sponsors and others in recovery is key. She is humble in her recovery. How she works and puts herself through college is admirable. She comes out on top, but she tells us how she did it: Hard Work and being honest with those around her. Bravo!

ss1989 Jun 06, 2015

to be honest i felt myself having trouble feeling sympathy for the author- not during the periods of abuse of all kinds, no, naturally that was horrendous and my heart went out to a small child left orphaned and failed by her remaining blood relative. Im alluding more to the tales she shares of her willful experiences committing crimes or mistreating those around her in bouts of drunkeness or drug highs. I just didnt feel that there was much remorse as they were just retelling of events. I didn't see any reflections on terrible behavior. that being said it is still an engrossing book and i recommend it.

stephieweffie Apr 28, 2015

It's a must read for those trying to discover their own voice in memoir writing. You will see the most coveted convention broken-innocence-and you will be enraged. She gets away with telling and not showing often, but it fits this story like no other and her voice remains original (and gangsta) throughout. If you are a writer, add this to your book list immediately.

Sep 22, 2014

The book is definitely a must read! If you have ever overcome addiction or just want a glimpse of what it's like into the life of a recovering addict this book is for you. Cupcake Brown truly goes through every horrifying experience a person can endure and yet she comes out on top. The story touches my heart and reminds me of my own road to recovery. The story is beautifully written and yet very sad, very well written.

Lauraparr Mar 06, 2014

It gets worse before it's gets better. Chapter after chapter, when you think it can't get any worse, it does. Cupcake Brown is truly incredible and touching. Her story is about faith, determination and the long and painful road to recovery and self esteem.

nikki718 Apr 27, 2013

Good Book. sad!!! really good book!!!
must read!!!!

Mar 13, 2013

I read this book in a weekend. It was impossible to put down. Cupcake Brown has a great voice. This memoir was heartbreaking and at times humorous. You want to read this. Correction, you NEED to read this!

peppeetoe Aug 21, 2012

This book made me cry, laugh and appreciate my life. It really moved me spirtually and mentally. I recommend this book even to the young people to see how this wonderful woman survived a hard life of drugs, prostitution, sexual and mental abuse. No matter how hard life is you can overcome it. Peace be with you. God Bless. Brenda

Jan 23, 2012

Great book. Very real.

SummerGemini Jan 12, 2012

Best book ever!

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Sep 22, 2014

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