Rockabye: From Wild to Child.
Apologies for the delay in book postings, dear readers. I have been struck with the winter malaise as of late, and have started no less than 6 books in the past week and a half. Additionally, I discovered yesterday that reading has become less fun for me because one eye is going near-sighted and the other is going far-sighted so reading HURTS my eyes. Clearly, this cannot go on, but until my glasses come in next week, please bare with my slower reading. As for the malaise, I think we’re all just hanging on until spring.
I love reading Girl’s Gone Child, and I love Rebecca Woolf’s writing style. I got into her through the mommy-blogger network via Dooce– maybe even through Momversations- and cannot get enough even though I am not, as of yet, a mom. Maybe it’s the fact that Rebecca is my age. Maybe it’s that her personality resonates, or that her kids have badass names (Archer and Fable!) or that she has tattoos. Or more likely, it is that I am looking for reassurance that I will be able to have a life after I have a child and will not suddenly hate my husband and eschew all of my former beloved activities.
It seemed like the book took just a bit to find its footing and gain momentum, but once I hit the middle, the writing began to be stronger and more confident- though this could of course be a deliberate reflection of the author herself becoming more confident as a mother. The chapters feel a lot like blog posts or stories of their own that link together throughout the book, which I think works well for the flow. At times I felt like I wanted more background on disagreements between Rebecca and her husband, or more of a basis for the introduction for a story.
It’s interesting because I definitely noted the cursing in the book seemed jarring until I got adjusted to reading it in this format- and I think in part because it is a memoir. In novels or dialogue, I don’t notice it nearly as much as I do when it’s part of someone’s inner monologue. And hey, I can curse, well, not as impressively as a sailor, but more impressively than my mother would prefer, but even I find myself limiting my use of swearing in writing simply because it does have a jarring effect that often comes across in a stronger tone that I’d prefer. For instance, the word “fuck” can seem very harsh in writing, but not nearly as much when you’re talking to a friend who uses it flippantly (at least not for me). Eventually, though, I think it worked to make me feel like I was closer to Rebecca and a confidant of hers (oh, the dream) rather than held at an arm’s length, as is sometimes the relationship between an author of a memoir and the reader. This isn’t to say that the cursing was defining, rather that reading this book made me think about the role of such versatile words in writing. Other thoughts are certainly welcome.
The end of the book was super strong, and much closer to Rebecca’s current writing style of connecting the everyday to a larger musing on parenting and or how experiences shape both children and adults at the same time. I’m sure I’ll be re-reading it whenever it’s my turn to be a parent, and in the meantime, I’ve added “Have a drink with Rebecca Woolf” to my life goals.