She knows what happened, but why it happened and what it meant, she doesn’t know. There was so much of her life she doesn’t not understand.

Gabriel Tallent, My Absolute Darling

My Absolute Darling

I’m part of a book club that seems to routinely read books about women who are in vulnerable and abusive situations, sometimes overcoming and sometimes not.  Sometimes the books are so violently disturbing I don’t even bother finishing them. Watching the news is disturbing enough. No need for my pleasure reading to do the same.

My Absolute Darling is an exception. It’s horrible and violent. Young Turtle lives a life of fear, abuse and violence at the hands of her father Martin. From the first chapter, I knew that all is not nor likely ever will be well for this daughter and her deranged father, but it was impossible to put Gabriel Tallent’s book down. Continue reading My Absolute Darling

“That don’t mean I won’t be here Jojo. I’ll be on the side of the door with everybody who’s gone before. Your Uncle Given, my mommy and daddy, Pap’s mommy and daddy.”

Sing, Unburied, Sing. Jesmyn Ward

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Sing Unburied Sing

“How can anyone have so much happiness and unhappiness wrapped up at once?”


The American Dream exploredI thought we were supposed to pursue happiness here in America. The American Dream should make us happy, shouldn’t it? Isn’t that what the Founders wanted for us? 1776 was a long time ago. I get that. Things change. They morph, and so has the dream. Who needs happiness when we can have power and money? Could Daisy have loved Jay Gatsby before he became rich? Or were riches a prerequisite to pursuing his dream of Daisy? He saw the green light and crossed that bay, never noticing that he was drowning.

Imbolo Mbue’s Behold the Dreamers beautifully confirms that each of us must find our own path to happiness. She makes a compelling case. Following today’s American Dream can lead us down a very narrow path.

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