Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A (Danielle Allen)

  "In the end, none of us knew him and, only now, I realize that neither did he know himself."

"In the end, none of us knew him and, only now, I realize that neither did he know himself."

U.S.A. / 2018

Danielle Allen investigates the life of her cousin Michael- who was sentenced to 13 years in prison at the tender age of 15. After Michael gets out, Danielle tries her hardest to help him readjust to society. But there’s only so much she can do. I like how this book injects pieces of reason into the struggle of trying to make sense of having a loved one incarcerated. Allen gives a play by play of Michael's turbulent life and simultaneously breaks down the "double helix" of drugs and gangs in L.A. from the 1970s onward. She does a great job at balancing emotion with logic. I just wish there could have been more of an analysis on why she and her branch of the family turned out so differently. This book is very touching and worth a read. I'm sure Michael is very proud.