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On and off my Mom and I had a difficult relationship. What daughter doesn’t?! For this reason I was curious to read about the author's relationship with her mother. This is the central theme of the book. Then I read that there was a bit of a controversy when the author stated that parts were fictional. This surprised me. The author is a fellow at Radcliffe, so I figured the book ought to be well written....
Could I spot what could have been fiction rather than fact? To this I can only respond that I often found myself asking, "How in the world did the author remember that?!"
Then there is the question of whether I liked the writing. For me the language was half of the time clever rather than clear. Too academic, too intellectual, too philosophical. If you know what you want to say, I prefer it be said as simply and clearly as possible.
In my view the author all too often saw the source of a problem as being sexual. This just didn’t occur to me! I found other explanations.
In the book I felt there were many opinionated statements about others - the author's neighbors, friends, boyfriends and her mother. While Vivian Gornick may be a fellow at Radcliffe, I haven't read that she has a degree in psychology! I cannot say that her stated conclusions are wrong, but I often came up with other feasible explanations!
Rather than empathy or understanding I all too often felt I was listening to an argument where I could not judge the validity of the statements being made.
The audiobook narration by Jill Fox was clear, but nothing special. When dramatic statements occurred she did get it right.
I am glad the book was short and am happy that at Audible you can return those audiobooks you dislike. I will be returning mine.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Came by this book by complete chance. Absolutely loved it, the writing is so honest and raw. Her relationship with her mother is complicated and passionate. I didn't want the book to finish. I am amazed that I haven't heard of the author before. Loved it!