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What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding
on 20 May 2014
Author Kristin Newman lived a moderate life in America as a sitcom writer – a career which gave her the time and money to indulge her love of travel and, possibly, her ability to run away from home and not face her problems. Her main problem seemed to be her fear of committing to the expected role of wife and mother as long term relationships became serious. I found Kristin to be a witty and self effacing writer and, although it is clear that her humour often masks a real sense of confusion – especially about her childhood – it was refreshing to read a book written by a women which was so honest about her love of romance and, yes, sex.
In this memoir, Kristin travels to Paris, Amsterdan, Moscow (where she meets the simmering bartender, Aleg), back to Paris, Buenos Aires (often!), Rio de Janeiro (nothing profound happens, she assures us, she just had a lot of fun), New Zealand, Iceland, Tel Aviv (where she learns why she is seen as a security risk) and just about everywhere in between. During this book, the author muses on the messages she sends – usually angry or sexual - takes a lot of drugs, gets drunk often, becomes depressed and tries to come to terms with her relationship with her father and her difficult feelings about her stepmother. Women are often judged harshly with regards to behaviour that, in men, is viewed as merely letting off steam. If that is the case, it is fair to say that Kristin lets off a LOT of steam and it is pointless to read this is you are going to be prudish or moralistic about it. However, if you are willing to read this account of her travels – which is very funny, totally open and honest and, I think, extremely brave, then you will enjoy the company of this intelligent and thoughtful woman. An unusual and interesting memoir.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review purposes.