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About a Girl Paperback – May 1, 2011
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There is so much I enjoy about this book: the poetic images, the gentle eccentricities of the characters, Anna's growing adult relationship with her mother, the quiet acceptance of Anna's sexuality. I sighed at the passages where they share a kimono, books of poetry, a pearl button meant as a kiss. It's a lovely romance, all the more tragic when it comes to an end.
The story skirts the issue narrative: Anna lives with depression for some time, but with treatment and a fresh perspective, she recovers and is herself once more, just loving and hurting harder than most people. I think it's important to have this kind of narrative, which does not deny the severity of mental illness nor blame those without her opportunities for not saving themselves, but does explore life after treatment and the steps Anna takes to gain her life back. Her relationship with her developmentally disabled-sister is tenderly done, not shying from her guilt and resentment and fierce protective feelings
If you love a love story, a family story, the strange beauty of suburbs and bookshops, relationships that flower and die and become something new, About a Girl is your book.
(This review originally published on my blog, Friend of Dorothy Wilde)