Small Fry is a captivating memoir by the daughter of visionary Apple founder Steve Jobs.
Lisa Brennan-Jobs childhood was unsettlingly complex. Until she was three years old, Steve publicly denied he was Lisa's father. His paternity had to be proven by DNA testing and then he was compelled to provide child support. Soon, Apple went public and overnight Steve was worth $200 million.
Meanwhile, his first born child and her mother relied on charity, minimum wage jobs and welfare to survive.
Lisa candidly shares how she grew up in 1980s California, navigating her way through two very different worlds; one of excessive wealth, the other with a struggling single mother.
It's not surprising that when she was young, Steve was a mythical father figure who rarely appeared in her life. As she grew older, her father slowly began to take an interest and introduced her to an extravagant world of mansions, vacations and private schools. Lisa describes how her father's attention was thrilling, but how he was also critical, inappropriate and unpredictable.
During her teen years, Lisa's relationship with her mother was strained so she moved into her father's home. Living with a step-mother and half-brother, she desperately hoped Steve would finally become the father she had always wanted. Lisa craved his love and attention, and although he was sometimes charming, he was often cruel. Their relationship was complicated by fame, wealth and in the end, terminal illness.
While most of us have families that can sometimes be complicated to navigate, what I enjoyed most about Lisa's memoir was her candour and vulnerability. Although Steve features prominently in her memoir, ultimately this is Lisa's coming of age story. Small Fry is Lisa's first book and it is a fascinating and unforgettable read.
Reviewer: Andrea Molloy Allen & Unwin, RRP $32.99