From Roaches to Rome by Brey Willows

4 May

Bold Strokes Books, UK


“Go outside and play.”

When I didn’t, my mum came to see why I didn’t do as I was told. I was a pretty docile child, really.

She found me standing in front of the screen door, looking at the wall outside our apartment door. At head height was the largest cockroach I think either of us had ever seen. I was standing there trying to figure out how to get past it…

“Why don’t you stay inside and play instead?” Mum closed the door on the atrocity of nature.

We ignored the fact that they were everywhere, even if we couldn’t see them.

That’s where I began life. Cockroach infested apartments, a single teenage mother trying to keep us from going under, alcoholic family members…you know the story. It’s an old and, unfortunately, common one.

Let’s jump ahead…

Last year, my wife and I went to Rome for a…

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