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Interesting But Not Riveting
on October 1, 2014
Rosie Perez is a multi-talented artist. Unfortunately writing isn't one of her talents. She had a Dickensian childhood but she is no Charles Dickens. (Or even Monica Dickens.) She relates her traumatic childhood much as she would tell it to a friend. If she had a ghost writer, the ghost captured her voice and her personality comes through. But the lack of variety in her manner of expression eventually becomes repetitive and irritating. She doesn't describe any of the people who affected her life, except in the most superficial way, merely gives an account of how they treated her. None of her many family members, serial abusers, and few childhood friends, comes off the page as a human being. We don't get to know them. Or, for that matter, Rosie herself. She is honest, but guarded. We learn all the things that happened to her as a child (and to a certain extent as an adult) but never get to see the real Rosie Perez.
The great detail in which she relates events that happened to her when she was a 3 year old, as well as her describing things that happened to other family members as if she had actually witnessed them, rather than hearing about them, also gives this memoir a rather false ring. I realize this was just done to make the events more vivid but it has the opposite effect. It makes them seem like fiction. I don't believe they are.
After all, Rosie is a Virgo.