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Thursday, June 18, 2020

Book Review: In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado (audiobook)

I listened to this memoir on audio, and it turns out that somewhat changes the experience. I didn't realize that it's a series of very, very short chapters, some only a few sentences, which probably did not read as disjointed as those sometimes seemed on audio (a couple of times I even wondered if my audio was skipping or if something had been left out.) I wish I'd known that going in as it might have made for a slightly different experience.

Carmen writes about a bad relationship she was in. She met her girlfriend in graduate school, but they both moved several times, the girlfriend never seeming to be able to settle down or be satisfied, which is a bit of a metaphor for her life. As she can't be satisfied, no one can make her happy, especially not Carmen. And things take a bad turn. The relationship becomes manipulative, cruel, mean. Abuse doesn't always have to be physical to have the same repercussions. It was jarring, reading this very shortly after I read No Visible Bruises. Parts of it were lovely--Ms. Machado has a real way with words and could evoke feelings very smoothly out of precise imagery. But in the end, it's a beautifully-told story of a horrible relationship and the difficult aftermath.

I checked this digital audiobook out of the library via Libby/Overdrive.

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