Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
- Publication Date:
- 12 April 2012
- Biography: Literary
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I liked this book especially the first half when she was a child. Impossible to believe that a mother could treat a young child the way she did. But the mother was obsessive and nutty in my opinion. The second half she is an adult looking for her biological parents. She does find her mother but that is not finally so satisfying to her as I suspect is the case with many adoptees when they find their parents. The book is very well written and not to be missed if you enjoy memoirs, especially those of writers.
Brilliant title - courtesy of Jeanette's adoptive mother - for an engrossing book. Winterson's prose for me has the same quality as Virginia Woolf - although the number of pages may be few, this is not reflected in the time the book takes to read, for each immaculately-crafted sentence requires lengthy reflection, appreication and makes ripples in your mind. This is to some extent the non-fiction version of Wintersons' first success, 'Oranges are not the only Fruit', giving the skinny on the extraordinary Mrs. Winterson, an almost-literally larger-than-life character whom Winterson is finally learning to understand and forgive. So the book is in essence a truly amazing account of how Winterson fought her way from this background via Oxford and on to becoming a very successful novelist and her continuing battle with all the ensuing demons. Interestingly, another reviewer here says someone reading it without knowing anything of Winterson would read it as an 'unusually literate sob-story'. I was in W H Smith's yesterday and as always had a chortle by the shelves marked 'Tragic Life Stories' for which there is clearly an unending public appetite, but which begin to blur and come out sounding like the sad old guys in Monty Python trying to outdo each other for the misery of their youth, always either without shoes or without feet... But I think that the quality of her mind and thinking - part of what makes this account 'unusually literate' - lifts this way above the average Pelzer-type story.and take her book to a more universally applicable level, if you need justification for reading it. I pondered on the title, Mrs. Winterson's words of wisdom - who'd like to define 'normal' anyway? The older I get, the more elusive a concept it seems. Given a choice I'd definitely opt for being happy.. One thing I know though - Winterson is one of the great writers, immensely readable and entertaining and always thought-provoking.
Brilliant. Weird, but brilliant. it made me feel thankful for what I have and shows how kind other people can be
I am completely and totally overwhelmed! I have found a soulmate. Some of the things she´s written could have come from me (if I had had her skill...) Oh, how she writes about love, and loss, and loneliness. I cry even as I write this now. It´s amazing that she dared to write this book - she is so naked and vulnerable, but that is of course part of what makes it good literature. And the way she writes of what reading meant and means to her! And how she describes the feeling of security when being surrounded by books ( I know, know!) This book was written for me! Thank you!
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