Thursday, January 7, 2010

Book Review: Perfection

Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal by Julie Metz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
When I picked this up at the library, I was unsure of what to expect. By the 10th page I was hooked. Metz has a beautiful straight-forward style and her ability to tell a story is wonderful.

She not only tells us a story, she tells us about the people in the story and she reflects on the story, she seeks to make connections, she is honest about her emotions and she is naked in them also.

That said, the book has some stylistic issues which gave me pause. While I like the going back in time, I found it jarring, when I am told by chapter heading I am one place and then we go back 20 plus years. I get why she did this, but I still stumbled over it and it is a technique she employs more than once.

I also think the last 1/3 of the book is the weakest. I suspect you have to show the entire cycle, but I felt towards the end or almost end, we had information which really in my opinion added little value to the overall story. It was just information. That said the last 10 pages (well maybe 7) really were very useful also. I like the messy neatness of it.

Metz also has a real talent for sentences which jump off the page and grab you. They are singularly profound and arresting and buried in a sea of beautiful yet very normal text.

I think she handles the subject beautifully, I admire her desire to understand, to not be drown in anger, to try and put together the pieces of an amazingly complicated puzzle, to seek a place where she can understand some most un-understandable actions. I think she also gives us an amazing glimpse at how people, all sorts of people deal with grief and disappointment.

She also does not rely on excuses or gimmicks.

All in all this is well worth reading.

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