Disregard the fact that everyone is reading or buying this book in the Bay Area (CA), it took me three tries to finally fall in love with this book. IDisregard the fact that everyone is reading or buying this book in the Bay Area (CA), it took me three tries to finally fall in love with this book. I think my trip to Italy in December as well as reading her shorter novel The Days of Abandonment first helped preparing me mentally to immerse myself in this deeply satisfying story about the friendship of two Neapolitan women. So, to anyone who could not get into the story at the first attempt: read one of her shorter novels first....more
I had complained about the lack of great books in 2015 for a good 10 months, now I've finally found my favorite of the year that every one should readI had complained about the lack of great books in 2015 for a good 10 months, now I've finally found my favorite of the year that every one should read. ...more
I actively seek out this book after reading a short description of the story online. Having the kids find a box of printouts of the communications (deI actively seek out this book after reading a short description of the story online. Having the kids find a box of printouts of the communications (definitely not PG13) between their Dad and his mistress is an amazing story starter. There was so much potential. But...
I don't do this often, but I found the review by Cian O hAnnrachainn has everything I wanted to say after reading this book. The prose is brilliant (I highlighted so many passages), the characters real, yet something is lacking in the story (heart?). I do find the "fast track to the ending" in the middle of the book a fascinating trick... It was fun to see: he died, she lived, he graduated, she married, etc. in the center of a story, then everything slowed down back to the original storytelling pace. Loved that trick.
Not sure if I will buy another book from the same author...probably not. Anyway, here are some of her passages that I loved:
"She used to do okay on her own. More than that. Only after she'd met Jack had she ever felt really lonely."
"How does anyone get over anything in places where the weather doesn't change? If you live someplace where the seasons are all the same, how do you get over any one or thing."
"He was being subtracted from everything, like a character made to look at the world, how life would go on, after he died."
“Passive was the word that described Caroline best. It was almost her way of life. Avoid conflict at all costs. Be aggressively agreeable whenever possible. Fly under the radar. Don’t stir the pot. Acquiesce and move on from difficult situations as quickly as possible, preferably with a smile.”
Caroline has a husband who loves her, although he doesn't hold on to the same job long. She also has a teen daughter, Polly, who’s precocious and has a brilliant mind, although mother and daughter don’t talk to each other much. She has a part time job at the Sears photo lab and lets her customers, as well as co-workers who are less talented, walk all over her. She attends school events and PTA meetings like any other suburban mom. She flows by without making any ripples in life. Talking about PTA meetings, we are in one when the book begins. Carolyn uttered a four-letter word to a passive aggressive queen bee mom, and shocked the heck out of the audience and herself.
The four-letter word she yelled awakened something deep inside Carolyn, something she hid away for over 20 years. When Polly got into trouble the next day punching the queen bee mom’s daughter in the face, Carolyn pulled her out of school and decided to drive right there and then from Maryland to Massachusetts to confront a bully in her past. A bully that she believed altered her life and her personality for the past years. With her smart and verbal daughter on her side, Carolyn was hoping that the confrontation would wrap up some unanswered questions in her life… Except that Carolyn has another devil to confront than her childhood best friend.
The relationship between mother and daughter was one of the best I’ve read for a long time. Their interactions were funny at times, and thought provoking at others. The readers can’t help but fall in love with Polly. She’s everything her mother isn’t and more. I can absolutely see my daughter, whom I’m very close with, in her. Polly understands her mother, and life, so well:
“Mom, you’ve never lost it in your entire life. You’re like the total opposite of losing it.”
"Mom, someone could be chopping your hands and feet off with a butter knife and you still wouldn't complain. I've never seen you lose your temper once. Not even with me, and I deserve it. A LOT." I love you, but you get walked over all the time and never say a word. "
“Mom, she was the definition of a bully. Exclusion. Isolation. Behind-the-back bullshit. I should know. My generation is the expert in bullying. It’s all we ever hear about……..We have assemblies where weirdos in costumes sing and dance about bullying. I’ve been taught more about bullying than I have about Civil War…”
But Polly was not the only character who I loved in the book. There’s Spartacus, a blind man who's dating Carolyn’s mother, George who just lost a parrot and is grieving, Carolyn’s mother who owns a pet cemetery. Even Emily-the-bully’s family has its own story to tell, but unfortunately we did not find out the ending of their story. Unanswered questions were why this book has only gotten a 4-star from me although it gave me a 5-star reading experience.
Mr. Green understands human relationships deeply. He knows what makes us happy, sad, mad, angry, betrayed and/or loved. He showed his brilliance in Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, and I can still see and feel his heart in this book. I could not put this book down once I started reading it. It made me laugh-out-loud at times and sad at others.
Since I thought Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend should be dedicated to all great teachers and introverts, I think this book should be dedicated to all with a loving Mother-daughter relationship and most importantly, to all that were bullied in high school.
Bullying changes lives as much as love does.
Thank you to BookBrowse for providing me with an ARC....more
Bought this little gem of a book at Strand's New York just by flipping through the colorful drawings and the theme, and became absorbed, then later fiBought this little gem of a book at Strand's New York just by flipping through the colorful drawings and the theme, and became absorbed, then later finished it during lunch munching on a slice of Joe's Margherita pizza.
At the time, I did not realize that she also wrote/drew Relish, which everyone in my family had enjoyed. She's known for her graphic memoirs! In this installment, the young author went on a cruise with her Grandparents. Both of them were over 90 at that time and her Grandma also suffers from dementia.
I rarely give a book 5-stars unless I could feel the heart of the author. Lucy Knisley is definitely wise beyond her years, observant, funny, loving yet is able to depict all her feelings for the world and the people in it using beautiful heart-warming drawings and her words. Her interactions with her Grandparents were delightful yet sometimes sad to read, as we are all constantly being reminded of the fragility of human life, and unforgiving baggage of old age. I'll be ordering her two other books....more