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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.
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