M. A. C Farrant’s The Secret Lives of Litterbugs plays like a classic memoir. These essays cover Farrant’s experiential life via the lens of her female identity. Narrator Erin Moon’s funny and womanly voice highlights the passage of time over the course of these essays, which cover Farrant’s life from girlhood well into motherhood. Farrant does not withhold the difficult aspects of her life, but her genuine ability to see the humor in even dangerous moments keeps the audience comfortable and receptive. Moon beautifully showcases the puzzlements and dramas of Farrant’s girlhood during the social turmoil of the 1960s. Then in contrast she presents Farrant as a seasoned mother who must deal in turn with her own feisty teenagers.
Take David Sedaris’ self-deprecation and deep sense of the absurd and toss in a pinch Erma Bombeck’s happy skewering of domestic life: there you have M. A. C. Farrant. In this witty, affecting collection of personal essays, Farranthas a gift for making those observations that would be harrowing, if they weren’t so funny, and here tackles the absurdities of family life from both sides of the generational divide: as a young girl growing up in a dysfunctional family in the 1960s, and as a mother herself to three troublesome teenagers. The pieces are funny and sharp, completely original while describing an utterly familiar world.