Liz's Reviews > The Liars' Club

The Liars' Club by Mary Karr
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's review
Mar 09, 2008

liked it
Recommended for: Everyone - there's a time in everyone's life when it's useful, I'm sure
Read in March, 2008

** spoiler alert ** (3/24/08): I've decided that, perhaps, reading books on which the header on the back cover says, "A Wickedly Funny Account of An Apocalyptic Childhood" are, maybe, not really helpful for me these days.

Yes, the book was funny - in the beginning - despite the pain and the drama and the despair and the shock of the lengths that this author and her sister went to to survive. This dysfunctional family shows me how completely un-dysfunctional mine can be, when compared to them (which is, in itself, quite laughable).

It is, at times, quite difficult to read. I sometimes like to live in a "pink and blue thoughts" world where the things that happened to this family just don't happen. I realize at the same time, the denial and refusal to discuss such only propagates that evil's strength in the world.

There's no real resolution to this book; can there be in lives that aren't finished yet? It ends with a conversation that is so obvious to the reader that needs to have happened years earlier.

It is a wonder to me that this author is (a) not institutionalized and (b) so very strong. I can see why the author mentions that so many people have been given this book to read by their therapists (FTR: mine didn't).

Odd, isn't it, that such crap can just make you that much of a better person? At least I'm racking up good stories to tell . . .

(3/9/08): Two quotes that stick out from the minute I've picked up this book in the introduction:
"As certain facts that had once scalded all our insides and almost decimated our clan got broadcast a thousand times, we got oddly used to them. Call it aversion therapy, but the events seeped in a little deeper. We healed more - though that had never been the point - through exposure. Our distant catastrophes became somehow manageable. Catharsis, the Greeks call it."

And this:
"This is a writer's dream response, what I'd hankered for as a kid setting crayon to cardboard on Mother's Day - to plug a reader into some wall outlet deep in the personal psychic machine that might jumpstart him or her into a more feeling way of life."

On page 30, but so far, it's riveting.
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