K's Reviews > Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson
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's review
Jul 16, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: more-by
Read in July, 2012

"She was a monster. But she was my monster."

Sucks you in from the first page with plain, powerful prose. Winterson describes her childhood with her batty, Apocalypse-obsessed evangelical Christian adopted mother, experiences previously fictionalized in more comforting guise in her book Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. She manages to convey how big a nut her mother really was, but also her love, pity, and understanding for this strange, sad, and isolated woman, feelings which took some distance, processing, and her own spate of madness to develop.

It's also a great testimony to how literature (and public libraries) can save you. I was impressed with, maybe a little envious of, Winterson's drive toward life and joy.

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