How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Shocking, laugh-out-loud-funny, heart-breaking, and vividly honest about many forbidden topics, the novel was a huge surprise. I tore through it in one day. It reads like a memoir, with a strong sense of hindsight making 14 -17 year old Dolly/Johanna self-aware beyond her years (and self-destructive behavior), but it's fiction. I can't remember where I got the recommendation, or if I just spotted it on our library's shelf (it seems an odd choice for our small New England town!), but I'm going to be recommending it widely. While the sexual details feel over-the-top at first, Moran's clear-eyed assessment of how her character uses sex is both insightful and troubling--and some of the description had me weeping with laughter. Most notable, though, is Moran's ability to depict a family that's struggling to survive on the edges of the lower middle class: her insights into the impact that poverty has on all their lives and her simultaneous emphasis on the love that keeps them all surviving make the book unusual, refreshing, and memorable.
I want to read her "How to Be a Woman" ASAP!
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It's Saturday night, nearly bedtime, and snowing huge big flakes at a great rate. Nate, Andy and I went out to dinner at Shinbashi to celebrate Nate's last night home, and then N and I took Z for a quick walk in the tumbling snow. It's warmer than it's been for a long time--nearly 32--which, coupled with the flakes, made for a stunning walk.
What a nice break it's been: far more mellow a time than we've had in a long time. It's been so nice to let the weather be what it wants to be, without concern for snow days or. . . well, at least since last week, or travel! Dad's getting better, February is passing by, and things are good.