February 22, 2010

Book Review - Lucky: A Memoir

I've joined a book club! This book was our first selection to read and review at our monthly get togethers, which are lovingly titled "B*tch & Wine" nights! Our first gathering was Sunday night and it was a great evening full of discussion, friendship, and maybe a little b*tching to go along with those robust reds and lighter white wines!
FYI - If you haven't read the book & are planning on it, you might want to visit this post after reading the book for yourself. Now onto my thoughts...
Lucky: A Memoir by Alice Sebold is an in depth description of her rape that occurred during her freshman year while attending Syracuse University. It follows her recovery through this experience and also describes the legal trail that followed the rape, once her attacker was caught. While I felt this book did not have the traditional "beginning, middle, and end" parts like a piece of fiction would, this memoir is one of the most honest depictions of someones life story that I have ever read.

The book starts with vivid details of Sebold being attacked while walking home from a friends house. The first chapter goes into further details of the struggle she went through, the coping mechanisms she used to survive the encounter and it also lays out of the gory details of the rape itself. When I read the first few chapters of this book, I felt the hairs on my skin standing straight up at times, that's how brutally honest she is in describing this horrible tragedy she went through. While these words were hard to read, I simply could not put this book down.

It does not take long to learn that Sebold uses her sarcastic sense of humor to get through the first few days once she is reunited with her family members, who all struggle with how to handle being around Alice. The story of how her family handles things made me mad and frustrated for Sebold. Once the criminal case went to trail, there was confusion as to which parent would attend the trail to support her. I found it hard to believe that both of her parents weren't right there at her side. Quoting her father, shortly after her rape - "Well, Alice, if it had to happen to one of you, I'm glad it was you and not your sister." Seriously, that's how honest Sebold tells it on these pages.

While I will leave the trail details out of this review, the end of the memoir takes a quick turn as she tells the tales of her life after her rape. It almost seems like a separate book during this part, because it is told so fast and almost felt choppy to me as I read the final pages. If there was one quote that I felt stuck with me as I read this part of Alice Sebold's life story, this is it: ""My life was over; my life had just begun." That statement would seem to suggest the rape ended a certain part of her life, but on these pages you'll find that Sebold triumphed over this event and has found a way to make it part of her history, a part that does not control her future.

1 comment:

Denae said...

Excellent book. Still haunts me.