Sunday, April 21, 2013

She's Come Undone

by Wally Lamb
February-April, 2013

No book has ever stayed with me the way this one has. Not for this long anyway. I was obsessed with The Road for a long time, but it has since fallen off my radar. And, as a late reader of the Harry Potter series, I already know that only a year later I want to read them all again. But this, this one; it finds its way into my life over and over.

Like everyone else, I read She's Come Undone when it was first published in 1997, thanks to the launch of Oprah's Book Club. I know that Wally Lamb is forever in her debt for choosing this book and starting a craze that lives on today. It wasn't long after I finished the last page that I recommended the book to everyone I knew. Then I had to read it again a few years later. I couldn't stop thinking about it. Shortly after that, I picked up the audiobook (on cassette!) and listened. And although 1997 doesn't seem like that long ago, alas, it was, and here I am finding myself "needing" to read the story of Dolores Price again. (I also read it again in 2009, as evidenced by this post ... I had almost forgotten about it!)

Once again, I was immediately drawn in. There were parts I had truly forgotten about, but the words came rushing back to spark my emotions. I honestly cannot say enough about how much I love this book. The accuracy in which Lamb writes as a female, through 35+ years of her life, is pure poetry. The themes that repeat over and over in my head remain the same, but also keep this book in the front of my mind: obesity, loss, rape, toll booth, jukebox, AIDS, whales, truth.

My favorite line in the book is also by my favorite character, Mr. Pucci, Dolores's high school guidance counselor. It comes very near the end, but it resonates louder than any other:

"Accept what people offer. Drink their milkshakes. Take their love."

Without a doubt, I predict I will read She's Come Undone again in a few year's time. For now I have the release of Lamb's newest book, We Are Water, to look forward to in October 2013.


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