Cherry: A Memoir
When Mary Karr began the mid-'90s memoir craze with The Liars' Club, she introduced us to a scrappy, funny kid with a fierce intelligence, a ruthless curiosity, and an indelible stripe of defiance. In Cherry, that kid -- still called Pokey by her father -- is older and wilder, inching closer and closer to trouble with every paragraph.
The book opens with Mary's farewell to...more
A review in 20 questions
Why did I pick this book up?
What did I expect to find?
Why did I not bother to read the blurb?
How did this become a bestseller?
Was the prologue as uninteresting as I thought it was?
Why was the first part written in first-person and the rest in second?
Who writes a memoir in second person?
Who thinks her experiences are universal enough to write in second person?
Why did she whine so much?
Why do people write about their drug experiences?...more
The reality of this memoir is that it is hardly a "typical" growing up, yet she failed to deeply explore the aspects of her youth that may have been more universal. I could only identify with snippets of the story, and just when I was...more
So this is a follow up to the Liars Club, her memoir of growing up with a dysfunctional family in Texas. This time around, she focuses on her coming of age years with a fantastic precision and recollection.
What I most admired about this book is the way you can see how a teenage girl can be bad and good, how she can be smart and yet naive, wild and yet sheltered all at the same time. Her stories about how her sexual emotions were budding was so very true to life- while she was...more
This is the "sequel." And it's a terrible truth that when there are two important works from an author, the routine reaction to the second one is either "Not as good as the first" or "I liked this one more." It's great to be an autho...more
The book stands alone, but it shouldn't. She mostly sets aside the horrors of her childhood to explore boys and drugs, relegating trauma (including hints about a rape when she was 8) to quick...more
I think some of the...more
I read her first book, The Liar's Club, last year and gobbled it up. It was so well written. Cherry was strangely written. Beautifully so, in many ways, poetic and lyrical. Not surprising, as she's also published several books of poetry.
There's a shift in POV somewhere around the middle of the book. It worked for a little while, creating this cerebral dreamlike experience. It just never went back to the orig...more
This book was above average. Standard 3 star fare. As every other review will proclaim, I loved The Liars' Club, the first book in her memoir trilogy. I read this one because I bought and am reading my way through all 3. So why isn't this as good as the first you may ask? There is not much driving narrative. In other words, it isn't very linear- which may not be good or bad in and of itself. But it interested me less personally. I like characters, but I NEED a fairly linear story even if there...more
Mary Karr h...more
So there's the drug stuff, and some really good writing about sexual awakening (what's most gripping, actually, is the stuff wa...more
The Liars' Club, published in 1995, was a New York Times bestseller for over a year, and was named one of the year's best books. It delves vividly and often humorously into her deeply t...more