Saturday, August 21, 2010
Cherry - Mary Karr
Cherry is the follow-on memoir to Mary Karr's The Liar's Club, and covers her late adolescence through early adulthood. Once again, I found myself wondering - who is this person, and why is her life so compelling that it's worth not just one memoir, but several? The answer for me is that her life isn't that compelling - or, rather, it's full of heartache and turmoil, but it's not particularly engaging. This is her sexual coming-of-age story - and there's not doubt it's a rocky one. She has a suicidal mother at home who is inacapable of providing her any guidance, and she has a naturally curious personality - which leads her into all sorts of trouble involving drugs and boys. Without the guidance she needs, so many of her experiences leave her layered in confusion upon confusion. Like The Liar's Club, Karr tells her often difficult story with honesty, and a bit of humor. But, for me, there is something dry about her writing that feels almost detached and impersonal which prevents me from really connecting - but perhaps that is the only way one can tell such a difficult story.