If you have "read" Julia's previous works, especially "In the Family Way," you will find the first several chapters of this book to be a lot of review with some new tidbits sprinkled in. It's all good material, it's just material you've heard before. Perhaps this is why I can't give it 5 stars. If all of the stories were new to me, I can imagine giving it 5 stars. I started to get concerned that I had just bought a compilation of excerpts from her other work. Thankfully, that wasn't the case. There's lots of new material here that will keep you thinking and laughing.
With all of the publicity that this book has received, I was somewhat interested in hearing it. I really expected this woman to be a militant, closed-minded person with no interest at all in the American way. It turns out to be an amazing story in which we are made to understand why she did the things she did and how this mom grew over the years. I was surprised when I found myself laughing out loud listening to some of the power struggles that started from the very early years of her daughters' lives. One thing is for sure, there really aren't many American moms with the level of commitment and endurance that this mother has. I'm hopeful that the daughters will write their own books from their perspectives later in their lives.
English major. Love to read
I don't know how I am going to go on to my next book. Andrew Solomon's voice, physically and emotionally, has found its way into my soul. If you are reading this review, you know what this book is about (is it dry, you ask?), you know it is very, very long and that some people have said that his narration is flawed.
The book has more than research; it weaves research with case studies that makes the research live and breathe and stay with you far longer than you can imagine (I usually read fiction!). It is very, very long, but I slowed the listening of it down at the very end because I couldn't bear not to be listening to these stories of profound courage. I relished its length.
And Andrew's voice (I am calling him Andrew because he shared his story with me) brings you carefully and warmly into these people's lives while delineating his comprehensive but not boring research. He doesn't compare to Colin Firth but who's comparing? It doesn't matter because once you get the cadence down, he is telling you a startling story and he will capture you. AND he is a beautiful writer.
I am grateful to have been able to listen to this book.