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May—The Argonauts (2016) > Book Structure

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message 1: by Emily (new)

Emily (emyvrooom) | 64 comments The structure of this book is something entirely new for me, and I'd love to discuss its many facets at length with everyone to grasp it more firmly in some kind of understanding. Its constant fluctuations between thought strains (memories, textual references, confessions, etc.) are mesmerizing and breathtakingly deliberate, and I swooned a little bit each time Nelson addressed the reader directly. I hardly know how or where to begin this discussion, so perhaps it'd be constructive to just start with what aspects of its structure engaged you and why?


message 2: by Danielle (new)

Danielle I read the whole book in one sitting, which for me had a lot to do with the form. Aside from being captivated by the content, I was also too wrapped up in the flow to pause. Maggie Nelson beautifully juxtaposes the intimacy of her private life with nods to criticism and gender theorists. The connections are surprising and fresh and make perfect, brilliant sense, in my opinion. I'm a big fan - even though I will admit to being taken aback by the first page of the book when I first opened it.


message 3: by Katelyn, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Katelyn (katelynrh) | 836 comments Mod
I'm really enjoying it so far. I started not realizing that I'd want to read it all in one sitting, and ended up not having time to continue once I did realize, so I'll be finishing soon.

I like the format a lot. I'm reading it on ebook, and according to a note at the beginning about margin quotes (I've not seen a physical copy of the book so I'd love for someone to elaborate on this), it's structured very differently in this respect.

Emily wrote: "I swooned a little bit each time Nelson addressed the reader directly."

Like I said, I'm only about a third of the way through, but at least from what I've read so far, it seems to me that when she says "you," she's not addressing the reader, but Harry specifically. To me, it reads like a long (open) letter to him.


message 4: by Emily (new)

Emily (emyvrooom) | 64 comments It didn't occur to me that they would format it so differently between ebook and paper copy! In the paper copy, references are made to other works by typing the name of an author, philosopher, etc. next to the paragraph with the reference rather than using some form of in-text citations. Definitely in the first few pages I couldn't figure out what I was in for, but line after line it drew me in and my analytical eye succumbed to drinking in the words as they flowed. The seamlessness is masterful, and I think the way the citations are formatted contributes to that hugely.

I'm approximately halfway finished with the book, and I've been re-reading many of the passages as I go. I think even after I've completed it, I might read the entire book again. There are so many layers to it.

I absolutely agree that this reads as an open letter to Harry, and I feel like there's confirmation of this when Nelson discusses how she and Harry combed through the early drafts of the work paragraph by paragraph. But Nelson directly says "reader" on pages 20 and 24 (in my copy) and there's something about this breaking down of the fourth wall that sent me into English major euphoria. I feel like this opens up their relationship, their family, and themselves as individuals to become even more vulnerable. Is it an offering to us to share in their story? Is it an offering between Nelson and Harry to open themselves even more to each other? Is it something else entirely?


message 5: by Katelyn, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Katelyn (katelynrh) | 836 comments Mod
Aha, yes! I remember that she specifies "reader" in a couple of places. Thanks for reminding me!

If I have the time, I might just start again from the beginning and read it all in one go. It's somehow both a quick read and a dense, challenging one. It's beautiful.


message 6: by Bethany (new)

Bethany Fair (bfair05) I also appreciate when Nelson speaks to the reader directly, especially after she quotes a bit of theory. I think by doing this, she is acknowledging both moments when these philosophies work in real life, and more often, when these philosophies are too clean for the general messiness of life's realities. Especially in regards to negative gynecology, Nelson finds herself addressing the reader more frequently as she juggles between what she objectively understands about it and what she has subjectively experienced as a mother and how these two realities both have some weight. That said, I think the structure of the book really does highlight the fine line between subjectivity and objectivity as she vacillates between theory and personal experience, speaking to herself and speaking to her reader - she reaffirms to us that life, like gender, exists amid the spaces BETWEEN such distinctions rather than within them, at least most of the time.


message 7: by Emily (last edited May 03, 2016 05:59AM) (new)

Emily (emyvrooom) | 64 comments Bethany wrote: "I think the structure of the book really does highlight the fine line between subjectivity and objectivity as she vacillates between theory and personal experience, speaking to herself and speaking to her reader - she reaffirms to us that life, like gender, exists amid the spaces BETWEEN such distinctions rather than within them, at least most of the time."

1) Is this book's structure responsible for its genre-bending?
2) Is this book structured in this manner BECAUSE it's genre-bending?
3) Is the book a combination of #1 and #2, among other factors?
4) Though Nelson directly confronts binary thinking and its limitations, does the book ever go beyond a binarial structure?


message 8: by Alia (new)

Alia Katelyn wrote: "

I like t..."


Where did you get it on ebook? I couldn't find it on Kindle.


message 9: by Katelyn, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Katelyn (katelynrh) | 836 comments Mod
Alia wrote: "Katelyn wrote: "

I like t..."

Where did you get it on ebook? I couldn't find it on Kindle."


I got it on Amazon for Kindle. I'm in the U.S., maybe it's not available for Kindle in other countries? :(


message 10: by Briana (new)

Briana San Miguel | 3 comments I found the structure of this book really interesting and I honestly don't believe Nelson's work in this book would have been as powerful had she constructed it like the "traditional" memoirs we've read by Steinem and Moran. Nelson is in situations that deviate from what we've read about before and from what some of us may experience in our lifetimes. I felt that the structure forced us to confront these experiences with her and intentionally pulled you through her stream of consciousness. You can get lost in it, there are abrupt parts, sometimes it's dizzying and complex, and that was really appealing to me -- especially when she addressed motherhood and theories on raising children.


message 11: by Kristine (new)

Kristine (y2kristine) | 18 comments It took me awhile to get used to the style but I am enjoying it nkw that I'm getting used to it. That being said, I'm not blowing through it as fast as others apparently are. I like to take my time and look up things I don't understand (Nelson makes a lot of academic references I've never heard of before) and I find myself re-reading parts that I didn't get the first time around. Anyone else?


message 12: by Sara (new)

Sara Kristine wrote: "It took me awhile to get used to the style but I am enjoying it nkw that I'm getting used to it. That being said, I'm not blowing through it as fast as others apparently are. I like to take my time..."

I am with you on the re-reading bit, because I, too, am not familiar with most of the references that Nelson makes, nor am I used to reading such a philosophical/analytical piece that this is.

I'm also not reading it as speedily. I am taking this book in bits, mostly because it is so dense, I can't get through more than a few pages at once because there is so much to digest.

I'm not really fond of this format. It is very tricky, being bounced around from subject to subject - probably because my brain is used to working things out in a linear way. So reading this book is challenging. I can't say that I love this format or style of writing, and often I feel very "on the outside looking in" like I'm reading an intimate discussion between two people that are referring to things I am not familiar with nor understand. And as such, I have yet to come across any passages where I've felt, "Yes! I understand that, I agree, I get it!" I'm waiting for that moment, for I've been able to find something in all the books in this group so far. Hopefully that moment is coming soon, I'd like a little payoff for the work of reading through this very technical piece.


message 13: by sara frances (new)

sara frances (sara_frances) | 4 comments this book is tricky because it is so dense and complicated, so it's hard to read quickly and grasp everything or even most things. but on the other hand, it's also so interconnected and some of the connections she makes across the whole book might be lost in a slower reading.

i listened to it and now i'm re-reading it again in ebook format to try and scrape together a better understanding.


message 14: by Anita (new)

Anita | 87 comments I'm really enjoying this book. It is not a work that can be rushed through - it needs to be read slowly and each word and phrase savoured.

I agree with Katelyn's comment about much of the book resembling a long love letter to Harry (I hope I'm remembering this correctly, Katelyn). The fact that Maggie Nelson writes poetry is evident in her beautiful, lyrical writing style.


message 15: by Melle (new)

Melle (feministkilljoy13) | 68 comments I am in love with this book, the flow, the theory. Just in love.


message 16: by Danielle (new)

Danielle (thesparklenureyz) | 39 comments I'm not that fair in yet- I only had about a half hour to read today during my lunch break. So far I am not taken with the format. What is most telling is that I chose to not read tonight- that's always a sign to me that I'm not into a book. I'm hoping to feel differently as I progress through the book....


message 17: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Davis | 1 comments Excited to join this group! Just got the ebook version today of this book and can't wait to start. I've heard wonderful things. Hopefully I'll catch up quickly.


message 18: by Kristine (new)

Kristine (y2kristine) | 18 comments Sara wrote: "Kristine wrote: "It took me awhile to get used to the style but I am enjoying it nkw that I'm getting used to it. That being said, I'm not blowing through it as fast as others apparently are. I lik..."

Sara, you nailed my thoughts perfectly on the topic. It took me a while (several hours a night for at least a couple weeks) to get through this book. Just wrapped it up last night. This is especially true when she references the art works (but does not include copies of the pieces in the book - so I have to go Google it, but some are really quite obscure or private and took me a long time to find online. I never found some.) In the end, the format ultimately made me enjoy this book a lot less than I believed I would originally. I might even say, elitist, for lack of a better term? This book is really written from someone who has long lived in the academic sphere and in writing this way, I would argue, makes it rather inaccessible to people who are not familiar with that kind of theory/writing.

That all being said, Maggie's writing on birth and death was so beautiful it brought me to tears. So there was that.


message 19: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Ann | 3 comments I'm struggling with the format. I get what she is doing and I appreciate it for that but at the same time i'm having a hard time engaging with it because it feels choppy. Her writing is otherwise great but i'm struggling to process what she is saying with the format being how it is.


message 20: by Kristine (new)

Kristine (y2kristine) | 18 comments Jennifer wrote: "I'm struggling with the format. I get what she is doing and I appreciate it for that but at the same time i'm having a hard time engaging with it because it feels choppy. Her writing is otherwise g..."

Jennifer, I had the same reaction. I'd say to approach this book like poetry. There are going to be chunks you don't understand because the sentence grammatically is hard to comprehend, just gloss over them and focus more on the pieces that speak to you. There were some paragraphs here and there I understood in the book that really hooked me: snippets of writing about how women always apologize, or identity politics, and chew on those for awhile. Don't bust yourself over everything. I also found it very helpful to have my smartphone next to me (if you don't have on just any place you can access a computer) to search the references I feel like I'm not understanding at all.


message 21: by Heather (new)

Heather McNamara (heathermcnamara) | 5 comments I thought the structure made the book read a lot more like a journal, or maybe somebody's overly pensive facebook or twitter account. Nelson's bio says she's a poet as well so maybe that is what led her to put her thoughts into short, information-dense paragraphs. The disjointedness of the sections makes it impossible to follow it as though it is simply a narrative or a story.

I'm not really sure I liked it, though. A lot of you are saying that it made you want to drink the book in one sitting and whatnot, but I felt like the structure made it a lot easier to put it down for a while then pick it up without feeling like I left off anywhere. It also seemed a bit narcissistic, even as memoirs go, like she just assumed we wanted to hear all of her thoughts absent a chain of promises. The only reason I continued to read was for this book club.


message 22: by Severina (new)

Severina | 9 comments I started with the book this afternoon. So far I really like it. I really love the structure. I was worried that I would get anoyed by the fact it isn't really devided in different chapters but it doesn't bother me at all. Also the way the book is writen makes it feel somewhat more personal in my opinion.
I hope I can find enough time to maybe finish it today.


message 23: by Sara (new)

Sara Kristine wrote: "Sara wrote: "Kristine wrote: "It took me awhile to get used to the style but I am enjoying it nkw that I'm getting used to it. That being said, I'm not blowing through it as fast as others apparent..."

I would use the word elitist if I were describing this writing style. It is very academic - it reads like a professor giving a lecture (sometimes it's hard for me to believe that the conversations she referred to actually happened that way, as they are so high brow, it's like another language).

I am continuing to struggle through the form of this, sentence by sentence in some places, as the meaning is obscured by very specific, clinical, academic, words. I feel very dumb sometimes, when I read this book, because I just can't make out what she's saying - and I have received graduate-level education.

I won't give up, though. I feel this book is short enough for me to devote my time to finishing it. I just wish I could understand it better.


message 24: by Tania (new)

Tania Teixeira | 2 comments I'm struggling with the reading too. I've never this much difficulty reading a book before. It's dense, and I have to go back and forward, re-read, and still feeling like I can't capture everything.
It needs time to go through it.


message 25: by Sandy Bergeson (new)

Sandy Bergeson I think the "elitist" comment is quite appropriate. I have an MA and am very well read and I have kept my IPAD next to me for constant reference in Wikipedia and the dictionary. I enjoy learning...it's one of the reasons I'm here. But having to reread sentences over and over takes away from the flow of the message (for me).
A patriarchal friend of mine once said that the trouble with feminists is that they write for academics and for each other. If I wanted to help him change is mind or learn something new about patriarchy, then we need to write in a way that people like him can hear. And yes, does that mean that once again the message is being controlled by the patriarchy? In a way...yes. But it's also an important piece of this complicated puzzle> If "they" can't or won't read it, then it's wasted space because feminist writers end up "preaching to the choir" as they say.

I pass the recommended books from this book club on to my friends that I know will get something out of it. I have only one person that I think would stick with this book. I am eagerly awaiting the next choice.

FYI: It must be terribly difficult to choose a book each month for such a globally diverse group but I totally applaud the choices so far!!!!!! I am hoping for books from Europe, South America, Africa, the MIddle East, Asia.......I have read many that would be an excellent fit!


message 26: by Katelyn, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Katelyn (katelynrh) | 836 comments Mod
Is it necessary, however, for all feminist books to be accessible to all people? Shouldn't feminism itself support women to write in a style that they want to write in without being accused of elitism?

I think it's important to recognize that different books serve different functions. This one is quite clearly not meant to be a primer for new feminists or converts, while perhaps last month's pick How To Be A Woman might be a good starting place for some because it's fun and easy to read (for its target audience, that is).

Maybe part of the discussion we should have here is: What sort of purpose does this book serve? Is it meant to educate, entertain, or something else?

To me, it seems to be a mixture of memoir, philosophy, and poetry, which translates to me simply as a work of art, perhaps without a specific purpose in mind. What do you all think?


message 27: by Katelyn, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Katelyn (katelynrh) | 836 comments Mod
Emma wrote: "I did think the purpose was vague and open to interpretation."

I think so, too! I've had to put it on hold for a week or so, so I think I'm going to start over from the beginning and read it over the next couple of days. Maybe then I'll get a better sense of "purpose" from it. But I don't think that lack of a specific purpose necessarily means a book is less valuable!


message 28: by Danielle (new)

Danielle (thesparklenureyz) | 39 comments This book just did not do it for me, and I think a lot of it was the structure. I managed to finish the book, but honestly, if I wasn't reading it for this group I would have abandoned it a long time ago. I have a rule where I don't read books that I'm not enjoying, because my reading time is precious.


message 29: by Paula (new)

Paula S (paula_s) | 29 comments I loved how rambling it was! It was like she's collected random thoughts on scraps of paper and later assembled them into a book. I didn't find it hard to read, but then I wouldn't. If this book is elitist, then (as an academic) I'm part of the target audience.


message 30: by Tina (last edited May 17, 2016 11:19AM) (new)

Tina (wlitig) Emily wrote: "But Nelson directly says "reader" on pages 20 and 24 (in my copy) and there's something about this breaking down of the fourth wall that sent me into English major euphoria. I feel like this opens up their relationship, their family, and themselves as individuals to become even more vulnerable. Is it an offering to us to share in their story? Is it an offering between Nelson and Harry to open themselves even more to each other? Is it something else entirely? "
Are you referring to where she said "Reader, we married there"? I thought that was a reference to Jane Eyre, but then again, anytime anyone starts a sentence with "reader", I think of that iconic line.


message 31: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (vanase) | 10 comments Unlike most people in this thread, the structure has actually made reading this memoir slightly more difficult for me. I definitely have to set it down to think about and process the content and the ideas presented, but the structure doesn't really provide good stopping points for me to do that. I just have to hope that I haven't stopped in the middle of some reasoning that she's presenting or of a grouping of examples, stories, or statements that may have some pint in mind 3 pages later.

Even describing it as a letter doesn't do its structure justice in my eyes. Letters tend to be much more linear and much less haphazard in their structure. In my eyes, it's more of a one-sided conversation, that you might have with yourself, in its rambling trajectory and flightiness.

I am enjoying the content, even though a lot of the individuals and theories mentioned are not familiar to me. I agree with those that say that this is a very philosophic memoir, and honestly that's what's kept me with the book.


message 32: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (boundingheart) | 18 comments I really liked the structure and it kept me reading so I finished the book in one sitting. I think for me the dense paragraphs that jumped from topic to topic is so akin to the way that I think or write letters, so it just made sense to me. As I did think it was a letter to Harry that happened to be published and accessible to us as readers, but with an acute awareness to the possibility that there would be an external reader.

The prose was definitely lyrical and did have familiarities with poetry which I think made it easier to read at times. In terms of the academic references maybe it's because I'm in the middle of my degree and was familiar to some of the references due to some of the modules I had done in previous years.


message 33: by Christelle (new)

Christelle (hannahchristelle) | 6 comments I find that there are paragraphs where the topic changes, and I use those as a stopping point. I would have preferred if she split it up somewhat though, even if just into two or three chapters that were the different stages of life.


message 34: by Kristine (new)

Kristine (y2kristine) | 18 comments Katelyn wrote: "Maybe part of the discussion we should have here is: What sort of purpose does this book serve? Is it meant to educate, entertain, or something else?"

Katelyn, you definitely bring up some good points. I didn't bring up the term "elitist" to completely rag on the book or anything (there are parts I did quite enjoy), I just couldn't think of another term until now: inaccessible. Academic writing style that sneaks into what would otherwise be a usual memoir, for people unfamiliar with it, is isolating.

I think the purpose of this book was for Maggie - her art, her expression, her catharsis. As such she is definitely is within her rights to present it however she deems fit and is comfortable with. I can appreciate her work for what it is. We need to support women who create work, especially when they do it for themselves and not others. I do not think it was intended to be for the masses, or as any kind of book for insight into LGBTQ+ issues (I think she even insists on this at one point, correct me if I'm wrong.)

But at the same time, I also feel very strongly about making works of literature accessible to everyone, which is probably why I didn't enjoy it as much as I would have liked to. :)


Lindsay Alexander | 9 comments Kristine wrote: "Katelyn wrote: "Maybe part of the discussion we should have here is: What sort of purpose does this book serve? Is it meant to educate, entertain, or something else?"

Katelyn, you definitely bring..."


I don't think it's off base to describe this book as elitist. Perhaps the term "elitist" carries baggage with it, but I don't necessarily mean it as a criticism--it's simply true that much of what Nelson says is going to go over the heads of much of the audience, by virtue of the fact that most of us haven't seen those art installations, or met that acclaimed academic, or read that obscure philosopher. When viewed properly as a memoir, though, all of that can be forgiven. Nelson is an academic, after all, and this is the way she speaks and these are the facts her brain contains, so that's what she put on the paper.

Still, while the book contains a lot of nuggets that are really worth thinking about, I find the combination of navel-gazing + excessively academic vocabulary to be somewhat tedious for my train ride home, which is the only time I have to read, so I will struggle through. I do think that one day, perhaps when I'm pregnant with my own kid (many years down the road) that it would be worth a read with fresh eyes and a fresh perspective.


message 36: by Arika (new)

Arika | 3 comments This book was available through my local library as a downloadable audiobook. I listened to the entire book today while getting ready and then running errands. I HIGHLY recommend trying to get It as an audiobook if you're struggling with the sentence structure. The book is read by the author and is a wonderful listen - like a very soothing narration. I think it was listening to it that allowed me to avoid some of the struggles in understanding several of you seem to have experienced. Naturally there are some things I'm eager to research and get some additional insight into, but I don't have the sense of having "missed" anything at all. I felt completely engaged by the author and her story from the moment I hit 'Play' and I doubt I'd have had that experience if I hadn't had the author telling me her story, at her pace, in her voice.


message 37: by Evelia (new)

Evelia | 89 comments I got the ebook from the public library. I am also having problems with the structure. I do find the book interesting, but I am finding myself reading sometimes certain passages to see if I understand it.


message 38: by Dee (new)

Dee (serendipidee) | 12 comments I find I am quite frustrated with this book. In the first few pages I found the flitting changes of though to be interesting and amusing. Now I cannot focus, as it sends me into a spiraling mess of ADD. I cannot keep focus, often putting the book down, and want to even throw it across the room.

I admit I have taken to jotting notes here and there of some amazingly insightful observations and quotations. I keep a notepad handy for just that.

As much as my heart wants me to keep trying to finish the book, I do not see it happening. The truly terrible part about that is how I feel like a failure for not being able to complete such a small book. I'm so glad this is the only selection thus far that has me feeling this way. I shall cross my fingers that the next one agrees with me a bit more.


message 39: by Kressel (new)

Kressel Housman | 436 comments Emily wrote: "The structure of this book is something entirely new for me, and I'd love to discuss its many facets at length with everyone to grasp it more firmly in some kind of understanding."

I'm not sure, but I think this book is modeled after the kind of style David Shields introduced with his book Reality Hunger. David Shields is a creative writing professor who said he is bored sick of the traditional narrative structure of the novel. He also said that since books are usually born of whatever literature influenced the author, authors ought to be free to quote without heavy citations and footnotes, just the way a rap star remixes music. Reality Hunger does exactly that. It's a collage of quotes that introduces a new format. Then Shields took it to a new level by producing a biography in that format, Salinger. Both are worth reading.

My question to Maggie Nelson on the Q & A thread was whether Shields was an influence. I'm really curious as to her answer.


message 40: by Dee (new)

Dee (serendipidee) | 12 comments @Emma thanks. I've since taken to both listening and reading the book at the same time. The audiobook alone was just as confusing, but the combination helps me stay on track. The negative is mostly now how the book is simply not interesting enough to keep me turning pages. It could be Maggie's tone or the verbiage she uses, I'm not sure. All I know is I couldn't put some of the others down while this one makes me cringe to pick up.


message 41: by Diana (new)

Diana (secondhandrose) I started this book a week ago and couldn't get past the first couple of pages but all your comments brought me back to it. I started again and I am just in love with the prose. The book is turning me onto other thinkers and texts. It's opening my mind. Probably my favourite read for this book club so far.


message 42: by Stacy (new)

Stacy (stacyr28) Dee wrote: "All I know is I couldn't put some of the others down while this one makes me cringe to pick up."

I agree! This format just didn't work for me.


message 43: by Rose (new)

Rose (reradford) | 58 comments I think that the book had many very specific purposes, and that every single line of it was crafted toward those purposes. She has plenty of other material to write about; this book was about the "queer part" of her life.

I found the "fast and slow" pacing very compelling, and alternated between reading through particular segments, and pausing to look things up. I frequently re-read sections after I'd finished them; I've probably read most of this book four times now. What if the book had been slightly less dense, and three times its length? It would have been so much worse.


message 44: by Allison (new)

Allison Clough | 1 comments I agree. I don't think it would have worked any other way than this format. It wasn't an ordinary memoir, she was trying to do something completely different and that necessitated a different style. I loved the interweaving of the personal and the theory - they fit, in my mind - these were things she had read and seen and related to personally, which I find I am always doing with art and poetry and philosophy and theory.

I absolutely adored and devoured it. I wish I could have read it in one setting and I'm sure I will read it again and again. I felt I was changing and growing as I read it. I related to so much.

I think I agree with the idea that it is a work of art. It can't be pigionholed and I love that about it - what better format for a work which celebrates the inbetweeness of things?

Personally, I didn't find it disjointed at all and was refreshed by reading an entirely new style/format. I think its creativity is something to be celebrated. I will definitely be looking up David Shields, too - thank you for that recommendation.

I am sad that others didn't get on with it, but then such is the nature of people and art. "No two persons ever read the same book" (Edmund Wilson). You can't write to please everyone and I'm not sure you should.


message 45: by Cecilia (new)

Cecilia (cissygold) | 1 comments I felt the book was structured more like an overheard conversation than anything else. At first it was very distracting but then once you became engaged, you stop listening.

This is how I reviewed it:
Imagine you are invited to a cocktail party by an old college roommate. You really don't know anyone there, so you walk around politely engaging in conversations, and then find yourself startled by an overshare. You stop because it is so over the top, but you feel compelled to sit down and join in the group so you don't appear to be gawking at woman who made the comment like a judgmental a**hole.

As you take your seat and start to really take in what is going on, you find that you are listening to a love story--a very intimate love story. There are times you become uncomfortable, and times you can totally relate. You cannot leave the conversation because it is beautiful and strange and so very real.

When the party is over you know you will never see the woman or her partner again. You know that if you relay the story to your group of friends, you will not be able to make them understand why you sat there all night long.

That is how this book it written... it is all over the place and personal. It might not be for everyone, but I am glad I stumbled on the conversation it will stay with me for a long time.


message 46: by Anita (new)

Anita | 87 comments I couldn't agree more, Allison!


message 47: by Kressel (new)

Kressel Housman | 436 comments Yes, Cecilia. Beautiful analogy!


message 48: by Katelyn, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Katelyn (katelynrh) | 836 comments Mod
With some space after finishing the book, I've come to realize more fully how the unusual structure is directly reflective of the content and produces that content discursively by refusing normative organization. I like how the book is cohesive on that meta-level.


message 49: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Cunning | 10 comments This is a short book (which if you knew me would usually mean I would have finished it long before now) but it's taken me a lot to read it. I'm having a hard time reading this. It's crudely written and I'm just hoping it gets better.


message 50: by Ash (new)

Ash (Onyx Raven On Paper) (onyxravenonpaper) I really enjoyed this book. I joined this group as I used to read a lot when I was younger but it has slowed to an almost stop as adulthood life has taken over. This is like nothing else I have ever read before, in terms of the way it was written. It fascinated me.

I completely agree with Cecilia about the the overheard conversation style and I found that a lot of the book flowed almost like poetry. I wish I had done what Rose said though, about rereading parts and taking some parts slow. I'm definitely going to have to reread at some point, as many of the people she referenced I didn't know. Aside, from that I loved the story and the book structure was one of my favourite things about it. The labour crossed with the passing of Harry's mother was brilliantly written and I really felt the chaos of emotions that both of those events would bring.


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