Good Evening All,
Hope you’re all well! We’re nearly at the end of a 4 day week and at the weekend. Though I have to say that all of the days seem to be blending into one big quarantine day at the moment. For which this book is absolutely perfect for; a quarantine read!
Judy is living a life she didn’t expect for herself and is drowning in the struggles of life. She is cohabiting with her husband from whom she is separated because they can’t afford to get divorced and her teenage son isn’t the loving, dependent little boy he used to be. Her best friend is dying and her creative writing juices have stopped flowing, resulting in a non-existent writing career. Judy finds an unusual coping mechanism as she tries to navigate her way to finding happiness in life.
General Thoughts 🤔
The moment I read “have you ever wondered if you love your dog better than your partner?” I was intrigued. I know there are some hardcore dog lovers out there and I love my dog, but he’s not my human. So it was interesting to me to read about Judy’s progressional drift from her husband to the point where the only living thing in her household she could get comfort from was her dog. It actually made me feel really sad, but this is a very real scenario. People live in loveless relationships for years and years. People lose loved ones too early in life. People lose their way in life and don’t know how to get back on track.
I felt a constant undercurrent of sadness reading this book. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it; because I did. If anything, it made me feel so grateful and appreciative of the life that I have. It also made me giggle and it also made me smile. Basically, I went up, down and back up again on the emotion scale.
I don’t want this to sound negative, because I don’t mean it that way but I found the characters draining, but that’s their life right? Judy is so incredibly lost in her life and doesn’t seem to be able to see what she has right under her nose. Gary struggles with anxiety and quite obviously wants to repair their marriage, but doesn’t seem to make that very obvious to Judy. Teddy has closed off both of his parents and I felt like he was crying out for comfort and reassurance from those close to him.
The characters all have their individual issues and I was screaming for them to just talk to one another and air their feelings. But they didn’t. And that’s real life for so many families I’m sure. Just like there are oversharers, there are those who gloss over the deep stuff and bottle it up inside themselves.
Writing Style ✍🏽
I’m not quite sure if this was/wasn’t intentional, but this book didn’t feel like a story to me, but more like a journal of sorts. I felt like I was reading Judy’s personal journal; including the mundane and the dramatic. Which made the book feel real to me and further confirmed the message that life can sometimes be tragic, but it can also be beautiful.
I know I said that I felt sad throughout this book, but there are also some incredibly funny parts. This is the first Laura Zigman book that I have read, but I definitely sense a very dry sense of humour in her writing which I really liked.
Conclusion & Scoring 🎖
I’m finding it really difficult to sum up how I feel about this book. I really enjoyed reading it but I can’t pinpoint exactly how it made me feel. It’s very real and I don’t think anyone could read it and not relate to at least one character or an aspect of the family dynamic. I’d quite like to come back to this book at some time in the future and read it again, just to see how it makes me feel at a different stage in my life. I truly think that people’s reaction to this book and how they digest it will totally depend on where they currently are in life and I actually think that gives this book something a little special.