Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? Kindle Edition
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|Length: 242 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Winterson does not write "womb to tomb" as she puts it. She circles the object of her study, her book. And we realize that this object is her heart, so tough that love is not allowed in. She pokes here and there, probing her memories, reliving brief insightful moments of her childhood. She reports to us how she could not love anyone, or even befriend a classmate, despite desperately needing someone in her young life.
And then, being Jeanette Winterson, she takes us to the present time and her search for her birth mother, which is mainly a struggle to get though the bureaucratic procedures set up to thwart adoptees from locating their birth parents.
The book ends with limited resolution, with Jeanette's heart finally opening. It is the most tender-hearted inconclusive ending I have read, probably ever. She stands with her heart exposed, bruised, torn, but beating strong.
I love this woman's writing. I do not always like her books, but this one is truly magnificent.
"She filled the phone box. She was out of scale, larger than life. She was like a fairy story where size is approximate and unstable. She loomed up. She expanded. Only later, much later, too late, did I understand how small she was to herself. The baby nobody picked up. The uncarried child still inside her."
A later passage reads:
"Babies are frightening - raw tyrants whose only kingdom is their own body. My new mother had a lot of problems with the body - her own, my dad's, their bodies together, and mine. She had muffled her own body in flesh and clothes, suppressed its appetites with a fearful mixture of nicotine and Jesus, dosed it with purgatives that made her vomit, submitted it to doctors, who administered enemas and pelvic rings, subdued its desires for ordinary touch and comfort. Then suddenly, not out of her own body, and with no preparation, she had a thing that was all body. A burping, vomiting, sprawling faecal thing blasting the house with rude life."
Jeanette makes it hard not to feel some sympathy, even for twisted Mrs. Winterson.
Like many patremoirs, Winterson's matremoir is as much about the power of storytelling as it is about the parent.Read more ›
My three-star rating stems from the fact that in this memoir, Ms. Winterson refers repeatedly to her other books and writings, quoting parts of them at length, and I'm not familiar with these books, so the references didn't hold the depth of meaning for me that they obviously hold for her. This feeling that I was missing out on something made it hard for me to stay with the narrative at many points. Yet she is a colorful and insightful writer, which kept me reading to the end.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was well over halfway through this book before I felt I had any connection with the author at all. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Marti Grahl
I wasn't adopted, but this book makes me feel better. Maybe not happy, necessarily, but a little more normal when I'm not accepted.Published 15 days ago by Sarah J Schlosser
This is the "real" story behind the "fictional" story, Orange is not the Only Fruit. Read morePublished 16 days ago by MaryN
I found Jeanette Winterson's autobiography very bleak and difficult to read. I also had a time problem with it. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Dora L. Davison
I have been trying to read this book for several weeks. I am having a hard time getting into the story. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Babs
Based on the title of this book, and not liking to know much about a book before I read it, I thought it was going to be humorous. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Just My Op
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