Apr 06, 2021tallymebananna rated this title 4.5 out of 5 stars
I think this book was recommended to me by an algorithm that decided I was looking for material about parent/child relationships. It wasn't entirely wrong. I took a chance and put it on hold, and then put it on hold a little longer as it sat on my bookshelf while I read through books with more colourful covers (bias revealed). When I picked this book up and opened it (not knowing anything about it or even having heard of the author) I found out it had it's own colour; brown-- and that it was the richest brown I have ever experienced as a reader. Brown featuring reflections on white, shades of grey, flecks of blue. It was amazing, completely absorbing, and made me want to be a more honest writer, though Alexie keeps reminding us that honesty is not his own policy.
Just before composing this very honest review I was reading the comments left by some other reviewers on this platform. It seems that Alexie has been accused of (anti?) #metoo behaviour, which he did not entirely deny. Had I known about the accusations while reading the book, I'm sure it would have affected the way I related to the characters. That being said, it does add another layer of depth to the entire messy and complicated story that Alexie tells. I would not let the accusations stop you from reading this book, but, if I can slip in to the role of book club director for a moment, I would advise you to consider the interplay between Alexie's story in the book and the story he's tangled up with in the media -- or was tangled up with in 2018. I don't know where he is now. I haven't gone far enough down that rabbit hole.
Just to clarify-- I'm not trying to justify or excuse creepy/abusive behaviour. I'm just drawing attention to the (spoiler alert) perpetual nature of abuse which, interestingly, is one of the themes that Alexi unironically (it seems) explores in the book. In any case, the author's (alleged? Again-- I'm not caught up on this) life, viewed as an epilogue, only underscores the importance of this book and brings more urgency to discussions around healing.