Book Review: Rust Belt Femme

By Briana Weeger

The brain often holds onto distinct and unexpected images and memories at the time of traumatic events. These memories may not make sense on their own, and they may seem disconnected from what actually happened.

For Raechel Anne Jolie, in her coming-of-age memoir Rust Belt Femme, the unlikely memory is of lightning bugs. During summertime in a rural working-class Ohio village called Valley View, neighborhood children ran barefoot through unmown front lawns to catch fireflies. It is the fireflies Jolie recalls first when she thinks about her father’s accident.