Monday, July 30, 2012

CBR IV # 26 - With Your Crooked Heart by Helen Dunmore

This is one of those extremely poetic books where I feel like I'm dreaming when I'm reading.  What I mean is, there's a dreamlike quality to the writing and every little incident is huge and magnified.  Every emotion is felt (or not) and mundane actions become beautiful or grotesque.

Louise is married to Paul, a successful and well to do man.  He didn't start out rich though.  He was a young man who clawed himself from poverty.  He has a much younger brother Johnny who he protects and takes care of.

The story starts off with Louise, feeling beautifully pregnant and naked, living a dream life in a garden paradise in the middle of London.  It would seem like she has everything, rich husband, beautiful flat, and smoldering brother in law (ok maybe not that part).  Well, a few years after that and Louise is a fucked up alcoholic mess.  She's fat, her kid is under the custody of her husband, who has remarried and moved to the country. She is left with nothing really, except drink and the sometime company of Johnny.  She is an absolute mess.

The story moves from Louise to her little girl in the country.  Stuff happens.  Changes are made in their lives and the ending left me feeling a bit confused (like I was dreaming) and inexplicable affected and touched.  I'm not entirely sure what the meaning of the book is, I'm not even sure I like it, but it made me feel weird and sort of sad.

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