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Later With Myself: The Misadventures of Millie Moskowitz Paperback – July 14, 2011
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About the Author
Sheryl Sorrentino is a practicing attorney whose father's death prompted her to fulfill her lifelong dream of writing a novel based on the events of her childhood. She lives in the California Bay Area with her husband and daughter. To learn more about Sheryl Sorrentino and her other novels, please visit her website at www.sherylsorrentino.com.
Top customer reviews
Frannie is messed up. She disengages from reality through periods of withdrawal and blank stares. It's like her brain switches off. No wonder Millie would "escape" to her "safe place" when the real world got to be too much. And her father, Lee, cast her aside because he was too busy living his "under-life" and getting his jollies with Cassie. In fact, it seemed to me that all of Millie's men--Lee, Stanley, Jacob, and Vinnie--all failed her. Even in adulthood, Millie's brothers overwhelmed her with their individual dramas.
Lee's exchange with Joey reminded me somewhat of Bonasera petitioning Don Corleone on his daughter's wedding day. Lee wanted payback for what all Blacks had done to him, as well as Millie. But Sorrentino's mobster is a great character in his own right. I loved his viewpoint and his charade of being a good Catholic.
The abortion scene in "MILLIE'S CHOICE" was like a cruise missile on target. The court proceedings in "TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS" left me with a chill. The exchange between Freddy's wife and Lee, was riveting. That Millie was accused by Freddy's wife of calling him at home made sense even though it was illogical.
Sorrentino marvelously interwove Vinnie's need for Millie's bone marrow throughout the story--Vinnie, Cassie, Lee, and the malevolent spectre of Joey, all shoved into the blender of a medical crisis whose outcome was from-the-innards--a hot and lumpy vomit of dysfunctional reality. What a mess. It's a wonder Millie did not lose her mind dealing with all this drama. That Cassie eventually did lose her mind did not surprise me. Lee seemed to have a corrosive effect on his women, and everything else he touched. The mold that overtook Lee's furniture (that he brought from Cassie's place) is an apt symbol for Millie's father's inability to keep any aspect of his life free from decay.
Sorrentino also masterfully interwove adult-Millie's therapy sessions, and her return to New York to confront Gina, Jacob, and Stanley, into the present day story. Everything fit smoothly and logically. I even felt for Gina.
This book moves like an express train! I thought I might wind up a mental cripple by the time I finished. If I didn't shave my head, my hair would have turned gray. "Later With Myself" is an eye-pulling-across-the-pages read, and Sheryl Sorrentino is an undisputed talent who wrote a great book!
The story is written in the reflective voice of Mille Moskowitz and spans several decades. Much of the story focuses on her childhood in New York City where she grew up with her parents and two brothers. Her family life was abysmal. Her father, Lee, was horribly abusive and her ineffectual mother, Franny, did nothing to support her daughter during her difficult childhood. I quickly found myself rooting hard for little Millie, even as she made some horrible mistakes in her misguided effort to gain the love and attention of her abusive father. Millie finds herself pregnant at the tender age of 12. She desperately wants to have and keep the baby to raise as her own. Her baby would be someone to love. A love that she craved but never experienced in her own life. To make matters worse, Millie's life is complicated by the secret Mafia family that Lee supports on the side. It's not until she is an adult that she learns the truth about the other family and is left to process this painful reality.
Millie endures a level of neglect and abuse that is criminal. But even through all of the pain and heartache, a thread of hope and humor is woven through the story. Fortunately, Millie lands in a good place later in life, so I finished the book feeling positive. I highly recommend this book and look forward to Sheryl Sorrentino's next piece of work.
The author reveals at the end that Millie's character is based on her own life, which should lead us to respect and admire her all the more for her courage in revealing her unique story. Most people want to "make sense out of their troubled history"--the author's stated goal. Through her story, the author displays an ability to use autobiographical journaling creatively to make sense of what might seem like a haphazard bunch of awful experiences, and use fiction as a tool for making sense of them. Sorrentino ties it together nicely so that it makes sense.
I'm looking forward to reading Sorrentino's second novel, "An Unexpected Exile," as both it and "Later With Myself" share the common theme of women being led astray and falling into becoming abused or taken advantage of. These narratives should serve as a warning to women, as they show the effect of childhood on later mind-set, coping and functioning.
As a psychologist, my only complaint is that I wanted to know more about the father's childhood. There was a small amount of information about Franny, but little about Lee as a child. It would have been nice to understand how he had become the way he was, but perhaps there wasn't enough room to include a fair treatment of this background.
Most recent customer reviews
I know NOT everyone will find this book to their liking due to the language and subject matter.Read more
honesty - I'm sure it was autobiographicable-