From small town Virginia to San Francisco to Dickensian orphanage, E. C. Mantz traces the path of her past in this intrepid memoir. By the time she was sixteen, Eula Cress had lived the kind of life movies are made of. She hitchhiked across the country, survived the abuse of an increasingly unstable mother, and ran away from a stifling girls' home. Despite the complexity, Mantz's simple, colloquial style transcends the incredible, if not fantastic, events of her life. More than just a personal memoir, Eula acts as a window into the little known history of the poverty-stricken women who grew up in Appalachia during the Depression, World War II, and the lead up to the Korean War. This book chronicles a young girl's struggle to survive years of poverty and abandonment that later make hers the perfect voice to represent a forgotten past and an overlooked minority.