Elaine's Reviews > Bad Marie

Bad Marie by Marcy Dermansky
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's review
Mar 04, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011
Read on March 04, 2011

The best thing about this book is Caitlin, the 2 1/2 year old around whom much of the plot centers. I like the way Dermansky faithfully and realistically depicts her speech, her whims, her tantrums and her inherent compelling loveablenes without pretending to show us what goes on inside her head. It's a neat trick, having a character who dominates the narrative to such an extent, but who is essentially a heartbreakingly lovable, maddening, exhausting enigma (as any toddler is). Marie, the ostensible heroine, is slightly less sucessful -- half an idea, helf realized -- but still compelling and not really bad so much as heedless and greedy for the things she's been deprived of, by life, by her mother, by prison. The men in Marie's life are fabulous comic turns. Probably the least enjoyable part of the book is Marie's relationship with Ellen -- it feels meanspirited and cliched. Nonetheless, this little odd gem of book is satisfying, thought provoking and a little irritating == much like Marie herself. An author to watch.
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Dianne Love your description of toddlerhood.

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