Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning by Claire Dederer

Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning

From the New York Times best-selling author of Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses, a ferocious, sexy, hilarious memoir about going off the rails at midlife and trying to reconcile the girl she was with the woman she has become.Claire Dederer is a happily married mother of two, ages nine and twelve, when she suddenly finds herself totally despondent and, simultaneous...

Title:Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:1101946504
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:256 pages

Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning Reviews

  • Kevin
    Jun 06, 2017

    I loved this memoir. So fun, sexy, wise, open, and fierce. I think I related to so much of it because Dederer and I were both raised in Washington state and are only two months apart in age. If I were a woman, this may have been MY memoir.

    I wrote a longer review with personal thoughts on this book and it will appear in the next issue of Post Road journal.

  • Jennifer
    May 08, 2017

    Free copy for honest review.

    "A ferocious, sexy, hilarious memoir about going off the rails at midlife and trying to reconcile the girl she was with the woman she has become." - Nothing could be farther from the truth. I found this book to be boring and I didn't find it the least bit funny. As far as I was concerned it was all about a middle aged women bitching and moaning about her life. I won't be recommending it to friends.

  • Wendy Jensen
    May 15, 2017

    A woman going through a ridiculous mid life crisis is fixated on her thirteen year old self.

    Quoting from the book, "You received a savage e-mail from a mentor and former editor of yours, who told you the book was so unreadable she had to stop midway through." kept ringing in my mind as I read this book but persevered to the end.

    I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

  • Meg Mulder
    May 15, 2017

    I've just finished Claire Dederer’s “Love and Trouble” or, as I’ve alternatively titled it “People who look at me and why.” I am a little disappointed. No, I’m a little angry. A lot angry actually. The degree of hubris required to write this book and then to show (or sell!) it to people other than your family is astounding. Mind-boggling.

    The following review contains spoilers, I suppose, but only in so far as a memoir about nothing can actually be said to contain any.

    Ok, so imagine the book as

    I've just finished Claire Dederer’s “Love and Trouble” or, as I’ve alternatively titled it “People who look at me and why.” I am a little disappointed. No, I’m a little angry. A lot angry actually. The degree of hubris required to write this book and then to show (or sell!) it to people other than your family is astounding. Mind-boggling.

    The following review contains spoilers, I suppose, but only in so far as a memoir about nothing can actually be said to contain any.

    Ok, so imagine the book as a space. A large, unfurnished space. Maybe an abandoned warehouse with high ceilings. The potential is vast. Then start peopling the space with characters: a beautiful barista, a gay roommate, an unhinged best friend. Let’s imagine they’re there to attend a party, they’re there by invitation. They mill around, unsure of what it is they should be doing. You’re there too! So far, there is nothing, no waiters working the room with serving trays of colourful hors de oeuvres or tottering glasses of champagne. No music even. And in walks the party girl (the author). She wafts around the room, but she is walking strangely, her head bowed in towards herself. Has she forgotten that she invited anyone to the party in the first place? Even her pithy humble brags and random, but also sometimes perceptive, reviews of books or movies aren’t enough to distract you from gawping and mouthing to the others 'wtaf?'

    Every man in here, she declares, is lusting over her. She cries a bit. 'That short-story writer just stuck his tongue down my throat!' She muses on Roman Polanski. 'That hippy rubbed his dirty hippy penis on my thigh!' She journeys to Australia. She has a stomachache on the way, but once there drinks a lot of coffee and watches some movies.

    Sorry, I zoned out for a moment. Where was she? Oh, 'A pack of rabid Australians tried to maul me!'

    Then there’s the part where she and her friend go to hotels and drink cocktails or walk on the beach or visit art galleries and her husband tells her she has to sell a book because they need the money (aha, things are starting to make a little sense now…) 'That lesbian! That musician!' (ugh, I’m not really listening anymore).

    She thinks about Roman Polanski some more. 'Please tie me up! Violate me! Anyone?'

    She takes a trip to Salt Lake City with her friend and they drive together (some reference to Thelma and Louise, I think).

    The end.

    Oh, and let’s not forget the “events”. There’s a pseudoscientific research paper into, I’m not really sure what, why the author has sex? Basically just a roundabout way of making a list of her sexual partners. Then there’s the riveting section on the places in her neighbourhood she frequented while growing up, references which probably only mean something to the other people who grew up with her. And then a cutesy a-z about her rather pedestrian experience at college (G is for goddess etc.)

    But here’s the real rub - you paid to be here, to attend this melange of tears, white girl angst and tedious reveries. Even the sex parts are boring. Yes, maybe my review is gimmicky and stupid and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but at least I didn’t charge you to read it.

    1 star for the one part I enjoyed (a description of middle-aged sex) and 1 star because I think Claire Dederer would make a pretty good fiction writer. If she could lift her head from her navel for just one moment.

  • Jaclyn Day
    May 23, 2017

    Her raw, clever writing does only a mediocre job of hiding the messy construction of the book. There are stunning moments that beg to be reread, but those are (unfortunately) lost in the sorting through of everything else.

  • Amy
    May 24, 2017

    I specialize in child abuse and neglect, and based on that, I would say the author is still suffering quite actively from it effects as an adult. As a child, she seems largely ignored and certainly unprotected. I found it sad that she spun this maltreatment into some kind of wacky, sexualized personality instead of the ill effects of what it was: blatant neglect. Yes, it was the 70s and 80s, but parents still protected their children. As I was reading the book, more than once I had the impulse t

    I specialize in child abuse and neglect, and based on that, I would say the author is still suffering quite actively from it effects as an adult. As a child, she seems largely ignored and certainly unprotected. I found it sad that she spun this maltreatment into some kind of wacky, sexualized personality instead of the ill effects of what it was: blatant neglect. Yes, it was the 70s and 80s, but parents still protected their children. As I was reading the book, more than once I had the impulse to write the author and apologize in behalf of her mom and dad.

    I'll say it: The level of hypersexualization of the author is not healthy or normal, whether you are young, old, man or woman. Instead of spending these pages rationalizing why it is, I wish the author would be the parent to herself she never had and use the book to thoughtfully explore her experience. No such luck.

  • Vanessa Garcia
    May 28, 2017

    Best book I've read in a while. Couldn't put this baby down. Female sexuality, like all sexuality, is complicated-- thank god we are finally talking about it with this kind of lucidity and candor.

  • Robin Donnelly
    May 30, 2017

    I bought this book because it was recommended by Elizabeth Gilbert on FB. The synopsis captured my interest immediately because I'm the same age, am going through menopause, am a long-time wife and an aspiring memoirist. I should have known that if Elizabeth Gilbert was recommending it, I would also need a dictionary to read along. I get that this author is an essayist, book critic, Oberlin educated reporter and has been reading since she was born, but my god, bring it down a few notches for tho

    I bought this book because it was recommended by Elizabeth Gilbert on FB. The synopsis captured my interest immediately because I'm the same age, am going through menopause, am a long-time wife and an aspiring memoirist. I should have known that if Elizabeth Gilbert was recommending it, I would also need a dictionary to read along. I get that this author is an essayist, book critic, Oberlin educated reporter and has been reading since she was born, but my god, bring it down a few notches for those of us who at that age were just trying to survive childhood, not thrive in it.

    At the start of the book I was nodding my head in agreement, "Yes, yes, I can relate!" But, somewhere past Chapter 6, I found myself thinking "WTF?" - To say that this memoir is lost on me is an understatement. This woman is not having the type of "midlife awakening" I'm having. Not in the least. Her fascination with rape and Roman Polanski's life and Roman Polanski raping her daughter is creepy and quite frankly, by the end of the book I was sick of hearing it, but just as I thought she was done with that, she then says how her friend Vic "always laughs about her jokes about rape." WTF? Are you kidding me? She's obsessed with rape! The fact this woman has two kids that will someday read this further creeps me out and actually makes me feel embarrassed for her. I think she should had listened to her editor and left some (most) of these vignettes out. I tried to imagine my husband reading this if it was mine and honestly think her husband must not read her books? Mine would be like, "I'm making you a counseling appt. and were getting marriage counseling."

    I usually can't stick with writers like this, who insist on using words that no one ever uses in real conversation but only when writing a book trying to impress you with all they know. BUT, it was out of morbid curiosity I read the whole book in one sitting. It's good in parts. Claire Dederer's ability to describe mundane things and places is exquisite but lost in the droning on about chapters that mean nothing to anyone but those who went to her school, and half chapters dedicated to describing characters in books/movies... In short, it's thee weirdest thing I have ever read. Some of it fits and some of it veers off into left field, at least it did for me.

    The synopsis is not even close to describing what you will read here. These are repressed memories that I think the author would deal best with in counseling and is more like a midlife breakdown. The only reckoning this gal is doing is trying to figure out why she's a bi-sexual sex addict. And she will have you believe it all comes down to one guy named Jack Wolf who climbed into a sleeping bag with her and his hard penis rubbed her leg! How stupid does she think we are? Very, is the answer. I for one, may not have her education, vocabulary or have read the books she's read, but I do read a lot of memoir and I know when someone is pulling my leg to sell a book.

    This woman has trauma that can only come from being raped, probably several times throughout her life and for all the descriptive prose she provides about the rape of Samantha Gailey, she conveniently leaves all that out when describing her own sexual encounters of youth. I found myself wondering, is she really describing her own rape?

    The crying in the beginning of the book, the inability to concentrate, fatigue, feeling invisible, having no purpose, feeling washed up, etc. IS menopause. Longing to be dominated and basically raped every minute of the day is not menopause it's abuse that still affects her, but she is just now out taking time out from mother hood to deal with it. Thus, this book....

Top Books is in no way intended to support illegal activity. We uses Search API to find the overview of books over the internet, but we don't host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners, please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them. Read our DMCA Policies and Disclaimer for more details.