Lee Anne's Reviews > Raising Demons

Raising Demons by Shirley Jackson
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May 29, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: favorite-author
Read in May, 2009

There's a scene in season one of "Mad Men" in which little Sally Draper is playing spaceman by wearing a dry cleaning bag over her head and entire body. When mom Betty sees her, she's angry...because "if my clothes from that dry cleaning bag are on the floor of my closet, you're going to be a very sorry young lady." This book is thrilling to read for its depiction of mid-century parenting, things you can actually get arrested for today. Baby Barry's car seat is in the front, while the other three children ride in the back, sans seat belts. Three year old Sally wanders to a neighbor's house to get breakfast when mom sleeps in and doesn't cook, then wanders back later. It makes one's head spin.

Anyway, if you only know Shirley Jackson from her required reading short story classic "The Lottery," or The Haunting of Hill House, this is the second of her two memoirs of the joys and miseries of wifedom and motherhood. All the Bombeckian (pre-Bombeck, I might add) touchstones are here: moving, clutter, Little League, appliances, husband's old girlfriends coming to town, pets, money. It's sweet, wistful, often very funny, and out of print.
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03/17 marked as: read

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