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Let me start by saying that the writing style of the author was so deliberately erudite and MFA-ish that it distracted me from the stories she had to tell. There was never a tree, but always a steady oak against the yellow palette of the autumn sky. Not a filing cabinet, a white metal filing cabinet with each dent lovingly deliniated. Exhausting to listen to after a while.
Further, the reader is treated to a specific example of each feeling--a buzzing in my head, pressure in my chest, my limbs tingled--to such an extent--seemed like almost every page--that I started to get fed up and long for a simple declarative, "I felt," but it was not to be. I think people who like Elizabeth Gilbert's writing will find this memoir right in the sweet spot, but I found it hard to decide how I felt with all the overly descriptive, wordy explanations of the author's feelings. It read to me that authenticity was substituted for the display of a very expensive education (name drop: Harvard).
There's another rule that someone should add to MFA curriculums that would have helped me greatly with this one: leave room for the reader.
99 of 104 people found this review helpful
The author has every reason to convey the awful reality of what was done to her as a child. And that's mostly what you get - an exceedingly drawn out victim narrative.
The true crime connection to Ricky's story is interesting but not enough to sustain an entire book. This probably would've been more effective as a feature article in a magazine.
Finally, the author take SIGNIFICANT liberties in speaking for others, which I found ethically problematic. She tries to justify her "imagining" other victim's and criminal's thoughts by citing trial transcripts, news articles, and a play(!?) ... Nonetheless, it's troubling to call these sections of the book "non-fiction" and I'm surprised the editors and publisher didn't hold her more accountable for that.
41 of 46 people found this review helpful