Friday, June 24, 2011

"The Memoir Club" by Laura Kalpakian

Published: 2005
Read: 2011
Genre: Fiction
Rating: 2
Review: Goodreads

I picked this up at the library based on the title, thinking it would be an interesting and quick read.  The plot is pretty straightforward.  A group of strangers with various motivations take a memoir class.  After finishing, several members continue weekly meetings with the instructor and in the course of sharing their memoir writings, strong friendships develop.

The book held my interest long enough to finish but I will not pursue reading other works by this author. Regardless, I can always find meaningful quotes.

One particular character, a Dr. Caryn Henley is dealing with a horrific tragedy.  She was married with two small children and had an affair which ended her marriage.  Her ex had taken the kids on a trip and on the way home, the plane had crashed.  There were no survivors.  Her guilt is overwhelming and threatens to crush her.  She struggles constantly with suicidal thoughts.

Quotes from her grief journey:
"She could not evade them, but they eluded language."
"I like to dwell with my losses.  It's the only place I can bear to dwell.  Every day that I do not shoot myself I have endorsed life."
"Why can't I die of a broken heart?  It would be so much easier than living with it."
"I know that the body goes on, dragging the broken heart behind it like a ball and chain, and all you want is to be rid of that broken heart.  Even it it means being rid of your life."
Quotes about writing a memoir:
"Your memoir should reveal to you questions you have not heretofore been able to articulate.  That's one of its functions."
"If you put a sort of narrative over your life, over your experience, you do impose structure on it, even meaning." 
 "Clarity is the responsibility of the writer.  Not the reader."
I had to write this quote down:
"We take men into our bodies and expel children."

No comments:

Post a Comment