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Inventing Memory: A Novel of Mothers and Daughters Paperback – August 2, 2007
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It seems as if Erica Jong is, yet again, trying to say the same old things in the same old way. Maybe the "same old things" part isn't what's wrong: the "same old way" part definitely is. She's an intelligent writer, seems like an intelligent & very lively person (especially from Fear of Fifty, even though that too, was repetitive) so why can't she start writing something different? I mean, completely different, not just "changing the names of the main characters" different...
This story takes you to the turn of the last century to the early years of the twenty-first century.
You discover the wonders and excitement of Paris with the glow and hardship of America. Filled with love, life, and a bit of lust, these strong women result from a strong stock.
You will rejoice in taking the passage on learning about the past only to unlock the secrets of the present.
Why, oh, why then, can't this woman write another novel I can bear to get through? I can't say I've tried them all (maybe Fear of 50, though not a novel, holds the most promise), but How to Save Your Own Life, for example, and now Inventing Memory, drive me to distraction with their lovingly self-indulgent descriptions of the main Jong character that lacks any of the funny self-deprecating description of FoFlying. The soft-core prose without the bite. Narrative sometimes get going but is quickly knocked off its wheels by the occasionally trenchant but mostly excessive Yiddish proverbs that litter every few paragraphs. A cheesy mess.
Maybe my expectations are just too high, as I still call Flying one of my all time favorite books -- not just because it's fun, but because it offered such dead-on descriptions of questions a woman asks herself as she's coming into her own, plagued alternately by belief in her own brilliance and star power and the fear of failing, as well as wrestling with the idea of where love/men should figure into one's life.
Gone and by the wind-grieved Erica, come back again.