I would give this book 5/5 stars, but I had to deduct at least one star for her interest in topics that are too painful for me to ever read again.
I have this beautiful habit of reading a chapter of a book first thing in the morning, to start my day off right. Well, the week I decided to read Roxane Gay was, well, different. On Monday I had a foul taste in my mouth.
I was all into this story about two sisters when I suddenly sensed something was wrong. There was that time they had been in the courthouse that they “didn’t speak of.” What are all the reasons someone would have been in a courthouse that required that level of suspense, I wondered.
A few pages later there was a colorful truck and I went, “oh shit, is this really how I’m about to start my day?” Yes, yes it was. I started my day off with two little girls getting raped and then getting contacted by their rapist days later.
Over the next week I encountered more tales of sexual abuse, a couple plain lewd acts, and at least three instances of babies dying. I can admit that these situations were difficult, but when I picked up, ‘difficult women’ I expected to read about women being sassy and stomping on the man rather than getting stomped on.
That being said, the book was incredibly well written. I mean, something motivated me to keep picking up the book for more. There was one story that made me go “aww” and I appreciated that. I even thought of Raymond Carver a couple times as I was reading it; there seemed to be a lot living in the space where things went unsaid.
At the end, though, it’s still a sad ass book about sad shit. If you have emotional triggers or are looking for something happier, this isn’t the book for you. Only time will tell if Roxane Gay’s writing will have that “thing” that gave Law and Order SVU 18 seasons.