Memoir a trois

It is not too early to start your summer reading list. If you don’t do it now, garden work or spring cleaning or some pushy self-improvement program will catch you by the throat and suck up all of your energy.

I’m recommending a memoir a trois.

I really like a memoir. A memoir is beyond “just the facts, ma’am.” It is an inside-out portrait of what someone finds when they dig in and make note of those things they believe made them who they are. When it’s good, it is a treat to be at the table.  

A match that worked for me: three women of around the same age, recalling really difficult childhoods with honesty, humor and an amazing turn of phrase.  They are Alexander Fuller, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight (2003), pictured at left.


The Liar’s Club (2005) by Mary Karr.

Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle   (2006).        

Similarities link ’em. Throw all three sets of their parents on a spinning carousel and each could naturally take up with where ever it stops. The adults are all sassy, free-wheeling, irresponsible, passionate, mostly alcoholic, reckless, and lovin’ sorta — that, pretty much in retrospect. The daughters are smart, loyal, put-upon, vulnerable, innocent and mostly resilient.

Whoosh, you’ll think when they all make it through. And you’ll want to call them up and ask them over ’cause you’ll feel like you know ’em and it’s your turn to host.

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