Susie's Reviews > Dora: A Headcase

Dora by Lidia Yuknavitch
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's review
Jun 24, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, indie-press, insatiable-booksluts-reviewed, good-read, literature

I gave this book 4.14/5 stars on Review copy provided by Hawthorne Books.


"Yuknavitch turns the tables on Freud by giving Ida, who we know largely through Freud’s analysis, her own voice–sometimes figuratively, as Ida is prone to becoming mute in times of extreme stress. The author, along with many other women who have been critical of Freud’s work with “Dora,” (his alias for Ida) presents another reality: that Freud’s analysis of “Dora” was wrong. That he failed her because of his own shortcomings.

I enjoyed Dora a lot once I got into it. At first, the teenage-slangy narration made me dubious, but it wasn’t long before I was having laugh-out-loud moments. (Page 105 had me rolling.) There was also adventure and moments of tenderness and friendship. Ida/Dora wasn’t a flat caricature of a f***ed-up teen, but a girl with hard edges and under-protected softness. Some of the events in the book weren’t quite realistic in terms of things that might actually happen–but then again, Freud wasn’t a psychologist in the time of cellular telephones, so one already knows that the book isn’t 100% realism. I didn’t mind, though. The characters stayed in character, and that’s the more important part, to me. Whether they could pull off some of their adventures was a stretch, but by no means an impossibility. I cheered with them when they succeeded and mourned when they didn’t."

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