Stray by Tanya Marquardt


Brutal and beautiful, Stray is the true story of a girl who runs away and finds herself.After growing up in a dysfunctional and emotionally abusive home, Tanya Marquardt runs away on her sixteenth birthday. Her departure is an act of rebellion and survival—whatever she is heading toward has to be better than what she is leaving behind.Struggling with her inner demons, Tanya must learn to take care of herself during two chaotic years in the work...

Details Stray

Release DateSep 1st, 2018
PublisherBrilliance Audio
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography, Biography Memoir

Reviews Stray

  • Dee Arr
    I have mixed feelings while writing this review. After finishing the book, I went back to reread the book descriptions to see what I might have missed when choosing this book. I felt a bit betrayed, as the description didn’t exactly fit the story I read. “Stray” is author Tanya Marquardt’s sharing of her teenage history, told from the vantage point of twenty years later and viewed with older and wiser eyes. Yes, the rebellious spirit of a...
  • Marissa Christenson Lang
    Although the writing wasn’t bad, I felt constantly let down by this book. Only about 1/4 of it takes place during the 6 months when she was “a runaway”, with the rest happening before and after. The description says she has nowhere to go, but that’s not at all true. She goes straight to a friend’s apartment, having arranged it beforehand. She lives there for 3 months, and both her (divorced) parents know where she is, talk to her, visit...
  • Ryan
    This memoir is a must-read for anybody who has struggled to find themselves, who loves reading about dysfunctional families, anything 90's or Canadian. And for those who are just fans of honest, good writing. Well written and compelling. Highly recommended!
  • Nicole Patterson
    This book was confusing. It would go back in time and then forward so I had to read it carefully. I liked the concept of Stray but found it mostly boring. 1.5/5 stars from me.
  • Ana Oh
    MehThis memoir held some personal interest because I grew up with a similar group of friends and circumstances. The writing? It’s not The Glass Castle—no rich storytelling can be found. There are a lot of information dumps, which can get a little tedious. If the author and I didn’t share similar experiences, I probably wouldn’t have finished the book.
  • Jillian
    We get it. You smoke. Every page of this book is stuffed with cigarettes and smoking. They added nothing to the story and in fact, distracted me from what was supposed to be the point. In one page she mentioned smoking 6 times, and every page is like that. It’s so unnecessary
  • Lindsay Nixon
    THIS IS NOT A MEMOIR OF A RUNAWAY.Held to the title (and expectation it creates) this book fails miserably. marquardt “ran away” and lived at a friends house for three months but that’s only a small fact in the story shared. Mostly this book follows her 16th year where she lives with her mom (verbally abusive and emotionally unavailable) and “step dad” but is miserable and frequently visits her father (who is an alcoholic). Her teenage ...
  • Tracy Fleming-Swehla
    Reading memoirs is always personal and I look for a reason for why someone felt their life should be read about by strangers. I enjoy reading about people who overcome difficulties or have survived and thrived…maybe it gives me hope, maybe I’m just nosy. The first half of this book was filled with just awful stories and even went so far as to, in my opinion, glorify cutting and it just pissed me off. YES, you had a bad life and obviously you ...
  • Donna
    This was my pick for the month of August with Amazon First Reads. Stray comes out officially on September 1, 2018. Raw. Powerful. Emotional. Heart wrenching. These are all the feelings I felt reading Stray. In this memoir Tanya Marquardt takes us on her journey when she was a teenager finishing up high school. She decided to run away from home when she was 16 because the police in Canada could not do anything about it. Her childhood left me so s...
  • Steven Andrews
    This is a book that I feel will speak to people in different ways. Some readers may digest this book as purely as a cognitive experience being happy to dive into experience that’s varied from their own. Other readers may well relate to this book emotionally, reliving their own experiences through the narrative of this memoir.I’d personally fit into the second camp. Going through a destructive family life that’s pockmarked with alcohol, viol...
  • Jessica
    I found this memoir to be incredible. Poo poo on all the naysayers. Tanya's writing is incredibly raw and forthcoming. Her book is not meant to be solely about being a "runaway" but as a "stray". There's a difference. How could you not pick up on the stray feeling throughout the book??!? She had no roots, no home, her entire childhood. You felt let down by her book? YOU felt let down by someone else's misery...get over yourself. Tanya is giving u...
  • Heather
    Surprisingly insightful. My biggest take away was the theme that she didn't know she could say no.
  • Jaclyn Hillis
    I thought this memoir was very well written and intriguing. It left me wanting to know more about the author.
  • Kristen
    3.5 would be a more accurate rating. The book was somewhat interesting, and I wanted things to improve for the author. I’m curious to know more about her life and her family relationships after this time period.
  • Molly
    Ended abruptly with no real conclusion or resolution or even “lesson learned.” Gritty and interesting in many ways, frustrating in others. Lots and lots and lots of smoking and drinking as key players in the narrative/memories.
  • carl w. cox
    SurprisedNot my normal reading,but it caught my eye and as i starting it was pulled in both to her story and my own past. Thank you
  • Goth Gone Grey
    Awkward teenager running from bad circumstances. Teenage years are never easy, but this memoir takes it up (or down) a notch. Raised by an alcoholic, abusive father, the narrator clearly has some issues. At 16, she runs away from her mother's home to start life over, hopping from place to place fueled by desperation, alcohol, and cigarettes. Having known kids like this, the story is harrowing and realistic, beginning the day she leaves and bounci...
  • Karla Goforth Abreu
    Shocking, Sad, SuprisingI started out eager to read this book. Mid-way through it, I became frustrated. It seemed as if the author was writing in the manner someone might talk it was difficult to follow a timeline and keep up with the people that Tanya would get in with very tight, through various interludes of her young life. Tanya’s parents seem to have no moral ground or any sense of responsibility for bringing up children. This young girl s...
  • Dave Wheeler
    TanyaThis is the gripping story of the ten treats of Tanya, from a very dysfunctional family i think it's fair to say a independent lady who lacked extreme but got stronger the longer she lives. This is a hard story to read and when you know it's a true story it will challenge you and see how from a low of challenge you can make a stand and make a difference no one had the rights to the edit of your story but you and others can play a part of it ...
  • Melanie
    Based on this title, and the description of the book, it was not what I was expecting. While not a horrible book - I really enjoyed reading it - I feel kind of 'let down' as I was expecting more of a 'living on the streets' or 'been homeless for years' type of story where she struggled to better her life. I'm not trying to discount her struggles, however living for 6 months out of the parental home - 3 months on the couch of a friend, the other t...
  • Brooke
    Boring read. Teenage girl who doesn't want rules so blames her Mom. This book never grabbed me. At the end I thought "here it is!" maybe it would, but then, nope. Ended. I'm sure her life was hard and for that I feel badly but unless there were events she didn't share, there isn't any meat. I'm glad she got her life together and sounds like she's dealt with whatever was in her head. Just not interesting to read about it at all. And I feel terribl...
  • Samantha O
    I read the book, because I was curious about what the life of a runaway looks like. I also wanted to know how a person overcomes such a difficult start to adulthood. I felt like the synopsis is a little misleading- a very small portion of the book takes place with the author living on her own away from either parent. But, the idea of having to choose parents and different forms of dysfunction was still an interesting read. About half way through ...
  • Paula Kellogg
    Intense.I love it and hate it for all the same reasons. Maybe I don’t hate it at all, maybe I hate some of the people in it. I felt a real connection with her and the things she has been through. I find myself looking at men wondering much the same as she did in the park, only darker questions. It’s strange that I feel such a connection when my home life was completely different. Full of love and happiness, but I could never seem to connect w...
  • Megan Perry
    I thought the book was repetitive and without a good conclusion. The author describes in great detail her life of drinking and clubbing, her friends and acquaintances. I wish there was more about the teachers who made such a difference in her life. And I really thought that at some point, there was going to be some kind of catalyst that changed her, made her stop getting blackout drunk. I was also hoping for a short epilogue to tie up loose ends....
  • Mary Donnelly
    The title is misleading... instead of calling itself a “memoir of a runaway,” it would be much more accurate to have called it a “memoir of a girl with dysfunctional divorced parents.” Going into this I was expecting a true life story of someone forced to live on the streets and survive - but the author’s “survival” was based on staying with a few friends to avoid having to go back home to mom and her step-family, and then eventuall...
  • Nicole Wagner
    This book was extremely engaging and well-written, but the story itself is unsatisfying. It's almost as if this book needs a sequel.It reads like a teenager's diary. It reads like one diary pulled out of a bookshelf of diaries. The author's teenage self wasn't trouble, but she was a follower. She got into some seedy situations and fell into a destructive pattern with alcohol, but she wasn't entirely unprincipled and she certainly wasn't dumb. She...
  • Craig
    I found this book very difficult to read. It was filled with angst, fear and raw emotions. An honest portrayal of life filled with abuse and an unloving family. It is the story of a search for those things in the most unlikely environment. It is not a world I am comfortable with but the author's honesty and openness to share her experiences drew me in and I found myself rooting for her to find a meaningful life. I wanted to put this book down but...
  • David Sprague
    Half the book I enjoyed and a half I was bored with. The coming of age parts was the best and Tanya's take on the family dysfunction was interesting. Some parts of the story seemed like it dropped off of a cliff. There seemed to be a big disconnect with her brother but they must have a better connection or a reason not to.Half of the book was about something very ugly. Dressing as unattractive as you could and mutilated your skin for some reason ...
  • sharon in Hercules
    A touching memoirI was so touched by the simple way that Tanya tells her story. So matter of fact. Yet hurt as a young child. Blamed for things she never was responsible for. Sins of others ....piled on her by a mother that was simply a child herself, when left by Tanya 's real father. Alcohol abuse, by a step father, and then bring alienated by another family brought about by a mother who was unable to ditch her own insecurities. She will find a...