Monday, July 27, 2009

Perfection? Well Not as a Reader This Month Anways.

So what ever happened to those summers of my childhood, where I would spend days upon days curled up with seemingly endless stacks of books? Apparently, like so many of the sweet things that fill our childhoods, those days went the way my American Girl dolls and watercolors. Being a grown up--at least for me--means being uber busy and uber delinquent in my reading. Not that I'm complaining about spending a week at the beach and then a week in Europe, but I do have to admit a bit of guilt as I see my TBR pile grow and grow...

But luckily during my trip I did manage to finish one book and start another (time on an airplane can be good for that!)

Julie Metz's "Perfection" is a memoir of the time in her life immediately after her husband Henry's death. A few months after being rocked by Henry's sudden death, Julie discovers something even more earth shattering--that Henry had carried out a number of affairs, including a long term affair with one of Julie's friends. As Julie unravels the secrets surrounding Henry's infidelity, she must come to terms with what this means for the lives of her and her daughter and decide how she will go on living.

This book is catharsis as memoir. The emotions in this memoir are raw, rich, and at times, painful to read. Metz does not hide any of herself from her reader, and you can see the characteristic 12 steps of grief as she recovers from the dual blows of losing her husband and then losing his memory. I found her emotional response moving, but only to a point, and then the memoir seems to shift into self pity. As the self pity begins, I just wanted to shake Metz and tell her to look at all of the good things she has in her life. Ultimately she realizes this herself and moves on, which gives the memoir an uplifting, you-can-overcome tone at its end.

I thought this was one of the more interesting memoirs I've read. I would caution readers that this is an emotional work and it may be too much for you if you are sensitive about the subject matter.

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