Heather O’Neill lives in Montreal, Canada, which is the setting of her captivating first novel, Lullabies for Little Criminals. This story was heartbreaking as Baby, who is a mere 13 years old, is exposed to so many of the harsh realities in life that even adults don’t have to experience.
Baby lives with her father, as her mom has passed away many years before when she was a baby. Her father is tragically a heroin addict who can hardly care for his own daughter. As time goes on, Baby struggles with school, is caught up by bad friends, experiences the foster care system, and more. She is a beautiful young girl who just wants to be a good kid; a pimp notices her and begins to prey on her.
It is such a tragic, gripping story about a young girl trying to find a way to salvation through all the horrors she had to experience.
Lullabies for Little Criminals was published in 2006. Despite being a popular novel, I can see why people still recommend it often, even 8 years after it’s original publication. The book has a powerful and a sad truth too many people’s realities. Through the course of the book, Baby has to watch her childhood being torn away from her because of all her experiences. I was so grateful for the note of optimism at the end.
This book is an absolute must read. And, as an added bonus, it was written by a Canadian and published in Canada.