Deirdre S.'s Reviews > Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron
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's review
Feb 03, 2012

it was amazing
Read in February, 2012

An honest, acute, compact portrait of a particular adolescence. A portrait of James, an articulate, but chronically isolated young man who can't connect authentically with his self-absorbed family members and putative "peers", whose only real friends are his grandmother and the director of the art gallery his mother owns. He can't imagine fitting in at college any better than he has in his life up to this point, so why go? His well-to-do parents are baffled and frustrated by his resistance to the future they have mapped out for him. How can he claim the freedom to figure out, and move in the direction of what he actually wants from adult life?

I identified strongly with James, and empathized with his inability to communicate his own, highly individual viewpoint to those around him, although his inner monologue is unfailingly authentic, and often hauntingly moving. I'm glad to have met him, and know he will stick with me for a long time to come. Like all my favorite fictional characters, I can easily imagine him having a substantial existence both before and after the events of this book.
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Sara Wow. What a perfect synopsis of this great little book. I agree completely, and appreciate the well- written review.

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