REVIEWED BY MICHELLE GREEN
Sarah Thyre's favorite Barbie was a skanky castoff rescued from a garage sale. In her feisty, sometimes hilarious memoir, Thyre recalls that "poor Barbie" lived in a pretend one-room house and ate ketchup sandwiches; her daughter, a Skipper whose toes Thyre cut off with a hole-punch, never complained. Instead, Skipper told visitors, "My mother burned my toes off with a Bunsen burner in a fit of rage triggered by malnutrition."
In real life, Thyre and her four siblings took plenty of their own knocks. The author and actress (Strangers with Candy) describes a family dominated by a cheapskate failure of a dad and a cheerful but impotent mom who performs sleight of hand with a BankAmericard. In small-town Louisiana, where they move from rental house to mold-infested rental house in the '70s, a better life always seems beyond their grasp. Does Thyre complain? Only a little. Brilliantly observed and remarkably humane, Dark is a charmer.