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Between Two Trailers: A Memoir

Between Two Trailers: A Memoir

Current price: $27.00
Publication Date: April 16th, 2024
Convergent Books
Available for Preorder


A powerful, unforgettable memoir about a girl who escapes her childhood as a preschool drug dealer in rural Indiana—only to find that no one can really “make it out” until they make peace with where their story began: home

Home, it turns out, is where the war is. It’s also where the healing begins.

Dana Trent is only a preschooler the first time she uses a razor blade to cut up weed and fill dime bags for her schizophrenic father, King. While King struggles with his unmedicated psychosis, Dana’s mother, the Lady, a cold and self-absorbed woman whose personality disorders rule the home, guards large bricks of drugs from the safety of their squalid trailer. But when the Lady impulsively plucks Dana from the Midwest and moves the two of them south, their fresh start results in homelessness and bankruptcy. In North Carolina, Dana becomes torn between her gritty midwestern past and her newfound desire to be a polite southern girl, struggling to reconcile her shame with an ache to figure out who she is, and where she belongs.

But the past is never far behind. After persevering through childhood and eventually graduating from Duke University, Dana imagines that her hidden Indiana life is finally behind her, only to realize that running from her upbringing has kept her from making peace with the people and places that shaped her. Ultimately, Dana finds that though love for family is universally complicated, there is no shame in survival, and for those who want it, there is always a path home.

About the Author

J. Dana Trent is a speaker, professor, award-winning author, and minister. A graduate of Duke Divinity School, she teaches world religions and critical thinking at Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Praise for Between Two Trailers: A Memoir

“[Trent] captivates with this coming-of-age memoir about her parents’ mental illnesses, her realizing the meaning of home, and yearning to belong . . . This debut is everything fans of memoirs could hope for: a beautifully written, searing and honest tribute to family.”Library Journal, starred review

“A potent memoir about a young woman’s escape from a toxic childhood . . . [and] a powerfully intimate look into the struggles of American poverty and mental illness.”Kirkus Reviews

“Fans of Jeannette Walls and Tara Westover will be drawn to Trent’s blend of grit and hope.”Publishers Weekly

“In a striking narrative of childhood trauma survival, Between Two Trailers pulls you into every breathless moment with ‘Budgie.’ Readers that exhale while rising beside her will find hope in the sweet air of redemption.”—Carine McCandless, New York Times bestselling author of The Wild Truth

“If Dana Trent's books were truthful, that would be enough. If they were elegantly written, that would be even better. If they spoke straight to the hearts of her readers, that would make her a writer worth reading. In fact, they are all of these things, encompassing what it means to be human on this earth, making reality more bearable because it is so clearly a reality we share. Between Two Trailers reminds me of that again.”—Barbara Brown Taylor, New York Times bestselling author of Learning to Walk in the Dark

“Hopeful, hilarious, and full of resilience and redemption, Between Two Trailers is delightfully messy and deliciously rare. Each chapter ventures deeper into the author’s riveting background—a world most of us were spared from. The whole journey is weighted with important reminders of how trauma-informed stories can both educate and heal us. Dana Trent provides a road map for assembling the different parts of one’s psyche that are so often split and shattered during childhood.”—Sarah Edmondson, actress and author of Scarred

“How often do you come across a story about a grocery-store, kiddie-ride, drug-trafficking business? It’s a tough tale to tell, but Trent communicates it with winsome charm.”—Jonathan Merritt, contributing writer for The Atlantic 

“Come for the luscious prose and ludicrously good plot. Stay for a story about home that will haunt you with its beautyand unflinching truth.”—Erin S. Lane, author of Someone Other Than a Mother

Between Two Trailers is a memoir in the vein of great literary coming-of-age narratives like The Liar’s Club and This Boy’s Life.—Micha Boyett, author of Blessed Are the Rest of Us