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I am not an ardent admirer of JKO, and have little interest in her life other than its historical period, but I do like auto- and biographical fiction --- so when I read a glowing professional review of this, I downloaded it promptly. I wasn???t as prompt in slogging through it, however.
In places this is almost stream of consciousness ??? portrait of Mrs Dalloway???s inner "adult child of..."; the style must have been tough to narrate, and I don???t think the narrator was a good match for the job. Later chapters were interesting for their take on external political events, but the internal life still leaves me feeling like an unwilling voyeur or tabloid reader, however sympathetic the overall portrait.
Although I'm not squeamish about reading sordid details or mixed motives of historical actors, I think I prefer them mediated by a traditional biographer or through literary devices such as imagined journals. Although this masqueraded as a memoir written by Jackie O, it was more like ramblings from the analyst's couch in places. Perhaps it was just too early after JKO???s death for such an account, at least for me.
If this is Jackie O ???on the couch,??? I am so happy I am a history teacher and not an analyst! I???ll reserve my future biographical fiction listening to portraits of events in the outer world or characters more removed from present day.
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