Melissa'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
Jun 10, 2012

it was ok

It pains me to give Jeanette Winterson's memoir a poor review. It pained me so much more to read this book. This, from a writer who is absolutely without peer in storytelling, language and the details of excruciating heartbreak.
To be fair, I did really enjoy the first 2/3 of the book. She writes in a frank and conversational style describing her early life and referencing her early books. I recognized her voice immediately and I settled in, catching up with an old friend.
Unfortunately as her story continues it becomes more of a search for the grail (a concept she mentions several times), a mapping of the early hurts she experienced (an infant put up for adoption) as evidenced in her present day relationship failures and what she describes as an inability to love. She "goes mad", begins a search for her birthmother and the narrative becomes rather self indulgent and whiny in the process. Her knight in shining armor (new girlfriend and psychoanalyst) appears and by then I was feeling quite betrayed by the mediocrity of it all.
Yes there is a genre for books that go there (self help, recovery, personal growth) and there is a language for this too ("I'm no longer a victim, I'm a survivor") but I didn't want Jeanette Winterson to write it.
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06/25/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by booklady (new)

booklady Bummer! :(

Erin Vasiloff Totally agree with everything u said

message 3: by Shirley (new)

Shirley I can;t believe this was ever published

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