Lydia Presley's Reviews > Too Close to the Falls

Too Close to the Falls by Catherine Gildiner
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Jul 14, 2011

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bookshelves: 2011, memoirs, non-fiction
Read on August 14, 2011

Original review posted here.

I’m really torn on how to write a review on this for one simple reason: this book is labeled and, according to the author, is a memoir. That means non-fiction, truths as told from the memories of the person writing the book. However, as a non-fiction book, it was.. outlandishly unbelievable.

Now, as a fictional book (or a book that is mostly fiction, or non-fiction events taken and made more sensational through fiction), the book was a hoot. I enjoyed it quite a bit! But, even while I was enjoying that book, I was enjoying it as a fictional story because, frankly, it was too unreal to be real.

The author takes many pains to assure her readers of her “elephant-like” memory throughout the book. I got the feeling that she was needing us to know this because the stuff in the book was just outlandish. I have no doubt that she met Marilyn Monroe, that she had numerous adventures with Roy (who was one of my favorite characters, by the way), that she hung out at her father’s store – although the whole “working at 4 years old” thing was… yeah, you’re getting the point.

I think what tipped me was two things, and rather than talk directly about them I’ll talk about them in the form of asking a question:

Would you send your pre-teen daughter unsupervised to New York, New York to stay with a strange family and compete in an athletic tournament?
Do you really think a full-grown man (Jesuit) would let a 13 year old girl read, out loud, a full page and a half of one of the steamiest scenes in Lady Chatterly’s Lover – and not do ANYTHING to stop her?

Those two questions were the straw that broke the camels back for me with regards to viewing this book as pure non-fiction. There’s plenty more, but those bugged me the most, and in speaking at length about the book with my book club, we all agreed.

As fiction, the book worked great. As non-fiction, not so much.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Sarah Obsesses over Books & Cookies wasn't that a great book!

Lydia Presley Sarah wrote: "wasn't that a great book!"

I rated it.. weirdly lol I'll explain in my review.

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