My name is Cassandra and I have a confession: This month, I broke a Book Rule. I know. How will I ever forgive myself? How will YOU ever forgive me!?
I started, but did not finish, a book. I cringe at the thought! But people, this book was a doozy and I just couldn’t finish it.
I selected the book The Liar’s Club by Mary Karr upon a friend’s recommendation. Because I broke a Book Rule (shudder), I feel it would be unfair to call these next few paragraphs a “review.” Instead, I will refer to the following as simply a commentary. Fair enough?
The Liar’s Club received rave reviews both from critics (you know, those fancy, important people), as well as my peers.
It is indeed captivating, but for this stage of my life, I just found it too…disturbing.
Mary Karr’s memoir starts out as an account of her early childhood days. Most of the focus of her writing is on her mother, who is “Nervous,” and her ailing grandmother. Karr is such an excellent writer that I would literally felt sick after reading her detailed account of her grandmother’s death and how she was the one who found her grandmother, with ants crawling on her arms as she lie dead in her bedroom. See? I told you this book was heavy.
Karr’s life, based on the portion of the book I did read, was anything but charmed. I felt compassion for her, but simply could not continue reading her story. It just made me so sad.
So, while thinking of what I could possibly write as a “review” of her book, I realized my childhood was, so very luckily, the exact opposite of Karr’s. While she remembers very traumatizing, god-awful things from her past, my brain remembers happy moments. Was my childhood perfect? No. But I do remember lovely things like…
Daddy making pizzelles every Christmas season, Mom ironing the family’s clothes and how watching her perform that chore was always so comforting to me. I remember my Dad taking me to the feed store after school some days to see the new spring chicks. I remember lots of bike-riding, Barbie-playing, and sleepovers. I remember happiness.
Although I broke a Book Rule, I felt like I had to this month. In a world where earthquakes and tsunamis wreak havoc and brothers are in arms against one another in civil war, I just couldn’t take in any more sadness.
No offense to Mary Karr, of course. Her writing is most excellent and her story truly compelling. Really.
Perhaps this month I should select something a bit more positive, no?
Until then, happy reading.