Do you ever read a book and think, I know this person has had a super depressing and awful life but I just don’t care? Well, that’s how I felt most of the time while reading Jeanette Winterson’s memoir Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal?
Don’t get me wrong. Winterson’s childhood was awful and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone. But I just don’t know. Maybe it was how she wrote or her attitude, but the whole time while I read this book I felt like I was reading someone’s super depressing journal entry or was privy to therapy sessions. It wasn’t until the end of the book, when she goes looking for her birth mother, that I actually felt compassion for the author. And that’s too bad because she had a really fucked up childhood.
The book club meeting about Winterson’s memoir was pretty interesting. There was lots of good discussion and one person loved the book. The rest either were meh about it or just didn’t like it. And throughout conversation, just about everyone started to feel the opposite about the book as when they came in - either liking it more than they originally did or disliking the author more.
Another thing that sort of bothered me about the memoir was that the author referenced another one of her books, Oranges, so much that I felt I needed to have read it in order to get certain references. So I thought that was annoying.
Overall, I gave it two stars on Goodreads. Are you guys on Goodreads? I kind of love it.
Book club is taking July off. Susi (far right in photo below) is taking the bar and I’m getting married. So we figured it was a good month for a break. But we’re coming back in August for a super special book club meeting. I can’t wait to tell you about it.