Borrowed Finery by Paula Fox
One of the most powerful memoirs of recent times.
Shortly after Paula Fox's birth in 1923, her hard-drinking Hollywood screenwriter father and her glamorous mother left her in a Manhattan orphanage. Rescued by her grandmother, she was passed from hand to hand, the kindness of strangers interrupted by brief and disturbing reunions with her darkly enchanting parents. In New York, Paula lives with her Spanish grandmother; in Cuba, she wanders about freely on a sugarcane plantation owned by a wealthy relative; in California she finds herself cast away on the dismal margins of Hollywood where famous actors and literary celebrities - John Wayne, Buster Keaton, Orson Welles - glitteringly appear and then fade away.
A moving and unusual portrait of a life adrift. Paula Fox gives us an unforgettable appraisal of just how much - and how little - a child requires to survive.