After reading Tara Westover’s “Educated”, Paula Fox’s “Borrowed Finery”, and Alan Cumming’s “Not My Father’s Son”—Jeanette Winterson’s “Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal?” seemed a natural progression of my literal literary journey through other people’s dysfunctional families.

Particularly as I have one of those myself.

I often find myself, leaning into that darkness; conducting a field study of sorts; of the lived experiences of others, to compare against my own. Desperately searching for clues as to how they managed to escape the chaos of familial dysfunction intact, or at least semi intact.

Doesn’t trauma do that to us all? We seek out answers, explanations, and ways to escape?

I always found my escape hatch in books, and I can tell that this one is going to be a helluva immersive read. To wit; I’m only on page 8 and already find myself awed by this excerpt:

“Truth for anyone is a very complex thing.
There are so many things that we can’t say, because they are too painful. We hope that the things we can say will soothe the rest, or appease it in some way. Stories are compensatory. The world is unfair, unjust, unknowable, out of control.

When we tell a story we exercise control, but in such a way as to leave a gap, an opening. It is a version, but never the final one. And perhaps we hope that the silences will be heard by someone else, and the story can continue, can be retold.

When we write we offer the silence as much as the story. Words are the part of silence that can be spoken.”

Looks like my weekend plans are sorted! What is your current read? 📚

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