Ingrid's Reviews > You Must Remember This

You Must Remember This by Joyce Carol Oates
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's review
Apr 04, 2011

really liked it
Read from February 27 to April 04, 2011

A sprawling, intricately woven tale of a family in the 1950s. The narrative flows from family member to family member--with the main focus on Enid and Felix. Beautifully written. This was my first time reading a book by Joyce Carol Oates, and I'm glad I did.

I suppose I was offended by those who said this novel did not capture their attention, and those who said it was "creepy.' I think readers who've said the latter entirely missed the point. It is not creepy--even though the circumstances of Enid and Felix may appear to be. As you read, you learn the depth of these characters and because you become so familiar with their lives, you no longer judge their choices so harshly. It's not so creepy when you're living it--and while reading the book I really felt I was in their world.

Oates does an amazing job of acquainting you with the circumstances. It is very much a book about love in all its forms--especially within a family and within love affairs, how it alters throughout the years, how you so easily can convince yourself you're in love and alternatively how you can shut it out completely if you need to, et cetera.

It was a very long read. But it didn't feel like it. Admittedly, I skimmed a couple of pages here and there (especially in the middle, when it was from Lyle's POV. Sometimes those felt long). Mostly I loved Enid's storyline, and Felix's. I even liked the boxing scenes, though I never thought I would. (You'll learn a thing or two about the intricacies of boxing when you read this.)

I would definitely recommend You Must Remember This. But, as with everything, go into it with an open mind. And if you expect an author to write very long book about a family WITHOUT documenting how fucked up those family members lives can get, then I guess you're looking for a really boring read.

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Reading Progress

02/27/2011 page 23
03/10/2011 page 110
25.0% "Take a second to read the summary of this book on its goodreads page. Sounds like a really horrible Labute play. Thankfully it is not."
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