Top critical review
11 people found this helpful
on 29 November 2011
the book meandered around on every subject under the sun, including her childhood, her parent's childhood, horses, work, and only a small part really was how middle age really affected her, so disappointing for me. i felt it was more of a general autobiography than specifically how she dealt with middle age. i don't want to overly-criticise the book but i am at a loss to explain all the fantastic reviews from fellow-journalists, and here on Amazon. so i hope this provides some balance.
one thing i disliked was her limited vision of womanhood represented by herself. though this is a personal account, not "everywoman", i still found the privilege seeping through suffocating. she seemed to assume everywoman has "done" work and motherhood in the middle-class way she has (i find this constantly annoying in these kind of books). has she ever met childless women, for example? obviously they don't exist in her world. there were some insights occasionally but the general tone and context felt pretty miserable to me, for no explicit reasons, which i found perplexing.
there are moments and paragraphs where you can see her candid, steely writing and observational skills, but it didn't really address the topics i would like to have seen addressed more honestly - instead a fey kind of observational style that was sometimes engaging but often obtuse (perhaps a need to protect her private life).
also the whole book just jumped around completely in a scattered way. often paragraphs seemed completely disconnected and often it was impossible to know what, if anything, she was trying to say. why the naked picture of herself on the cover, unnecessary, self-adulating, sets the tone of the book?