I guess the thing that struck me at the end was "but what have you learned?" It seemed to be more of how Suzanna could punish her mother than what lessons she came out of the whole situation with. It's an easier task to be honest and critical about our pasts...but what really takes bravery is to be honest about present life. Because the book just "stopped," it's hard to interpret it's lessons when viewed in comparison to her current life.
Having a difficult relationship with my own mother, the anecdotes from the past were helpful to set a nice framework, but this book didn't carry those to the next logical step...Overall, I had hoped to see more resolution. Of course, perhaps that was her point...that we are always learning and there isn't ever a "real" resolution. Even so, there are still things we will do differently, today, from what have learned, yesterday.
IMHO it needed another couple of chapters...
Perhaps it's the time of life I am in (just faced my 20th high school reunion), but this book made me laugh and kept me highly entertained. There was no unnecessary tearful reunions or sudden epiphanies...just a slow unfolding of the story. I also like the way Tropper told a "story within a story" in the same, unhurried way. HIGHLY entertained...
I thought this story mirrored "real life" so well! Frey managed to give life to LA, personifying her via characters, hopes, dreams, and history. I was captivated from beginning to end. Not all the stories are happy, but they represent each life lived, poorly or brilliantly, according to the person. Such a rich story upon a story. LOVED IT! Narrator was PHENOMENAL!!!! He seemed to really love the story, himself, or at least understand it enough to pour his own emotion into it.
I like how Mary Jo tried to keep the larger picture in mind (IE her kids) as she told the story. She didn't seem to want to throw anyone under the proverbial bus. My only criticism is I was hoping to linger a little less on the history and, instead, savor more of what she's learned. Honestly, this came across less as "what I have learned" and more of her beating herself up a little much...but I can't imagine the criticism she faced. The "now-a-days" seemed a little rushed to me. I wanted to hear more details of how "the best revenge is a life well-lived." But it was nice to at least gain some of her perspective. Prosper, strong lady.
I LOVED how the author tied a larger world-view up in the stories of three quite different ladies. I liked how the story slowly unfolded...I find this resembles how life works...generally no huge cathartic epiphanies, but smaller, slower revelations that lend themselves to a larger awareness or understanding. I had a difficult time turning this one off at the end of each commute.
I loved the story. As for the narration, I was able to get lost in the story, which means the narration did its job...at least for me. I would say this was definitely worth the money as an audio book.
I am sorry, but I thought this book stopped short of a journey. It is a gripping and horrifying story of the actual abuse, the details of which are quite explicit. And after enduring HOURS of hearing about that, I got no payoff or satisfaction by means of how his life is, now? How Mr. Pelzer recovers is completely left out. How he "escaped" is also left out. For me, child abuse is the start of the journey and in this book I felt it was the journey. A mere 5 minutes at the end of the book recants why this might have happened, how "the system" failed him, but tells NOTHING of how he is doing, today...truthfully, as honest as the details of the abuse were, he was not very honest with how he came through. Sorry, but that's how I felt. I was looking for soooo much more self-discovery! Book wasn't hopeful, in the least, it left me sad and uninspired.
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