Monday, June 30, 2014

Bough Down by Karen Green

One of the pleasures I take when I go to see my mother is exploring her bookcase and, most especially, the pile of books that she is currently reading or has recently read.  Sometimes I seek out the books at my local library.  Other times, she ends up sending me one of the books I’d previously seen lying around.  On my recent trip, I noticed on book in particular.  The title intrigued me (because who doesn’t like a good pun?) so I picked it up to read the blurb.  Only, there was no blurb.  There was nothing to tell me what the book was about.  So I opened it and read the first short, prose piece.  I wasn’t sure what I was reading but I didn’t stop until I finished Bough Down by Karen Green a little over an hour later. 

Sometimes I had to put the book down, like when I realized what it was I held in my hand, a fragmented presentation of loss.  You know how something happens in your life that leaves you broken and everything you say, feel, do is equally shattered?  This is how this book flows, with images and emotions coming in small but intense doses.  On par with the raw emotion of both Joan Didion's Year of Magical Thinking and Sonali Deraniyagala's Wave, this is a brutal yet beautiful memoir of one woman's painful loss.  This is prose poetry cum confessional memoir and anything I could say about it is inadequate to the task.

Now, perhaps you are one of the many who knows who Karen Green is and what this book is about but I came to it ignorant as can be.  If you do not know who Karen Green is and are as oblivious as I to what this book is about then I beg you to dare to read this book without a context, to just allow Green's brilliant honest writing draw you into what it is she is sharing.  Nothing I've read compares with this book. I didn't read it; I devoured it.  I closed it and ached to reread it.  I told my mother that, when she is finished with it, to please send it to me.  I don't think reading this book one time is enough and I've a feeling that even after ten readings I'd still find something new to leave me breathless

4 comments:

  1. Now you know I'm going to have to read this!

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    1. +Betty Taylor, I'm so glad my saying "prose poetry" didn't turn you off from reading this book. I hope you find it as amazing as I did. And if you don't know about Karen Green, don't research her. Allow her book to seduce you the way it did me.

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  2. I looked for the book on my Nook today and couldn't find it. Maybe Amazon?

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    1. All of my book reviews have a link to amazon. The other option is to ask your son to get a copy from his college library when he next comes home from school for a visit. It's won awards so I have no doubt his uni will have a copy on hand.

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