The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
The first line was enough to show me that I had to read this book:
"I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a Dumpster."
Even more compelling than her toughness is her honesty. Walls hid her past from those around her for 20 years, moving in affluent circles of New York society. Her parents, through their own choices and through being unwilling to accept her financial help, remained homeless in NYC. It would be a relief to finally speak the truth after all that time.