Monday, July 7, 2014

Book Review: She's Come Undone

She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb (1992)

Just like I believe some people come into our lives at certain times for important reasons, I also believe that some books come into our lives in that same manner. For me, She's Come Undone was one of those books. So just from that, it should be no surprise that I really enjoyed this book and it left me with that "after feeling" that great books so often do.

To start, this book took me weeks to really get into it. I don't even remember what month I checked it out. It had always been on my to-read list on GoodReads, but when I finally got my hands on it and started reading, for whatever reason I just couldn't delve into the characters and the world the book was creating for me. Now I think the reason for that was because I was meant to finish it this weekend, after a couple weeks of hard times. Or maybe it just really does have a hard to get into beginning. You be the judge of that. Regardless, if you start reading it, please make sure you finish it. It's totally worth it, I promise.

I think part of the reason I had such a hard time getting into it was because I couldn't sympathize with the main character, Dolores. She was always so negative and mopey, also kind of just a bitch. Bad things happened to her, sure, but her attitude was a huge turn off for me and it made it hard for me to read, maybe because at the time I just couldn't relate. I tend to be one of those people who likes to relate to book characters, so sometimes that's a deal breaker for me.

I kept reading, though. Slowly, very slowly. Which is so rare for me. Usually I get into a book and finish it within just a few days. This book took me weeks to finish. Whenever I find myself attempting to read a book for over a week, I usually just give up on it. For whatever reason, I did not give up on this book and I'm so glad I didn't.

To sum it up without giving anything away (which will be hard to do) She's Come Undone follows Dolores throughout her life. From her childhood all the way to her mid-30s. The book, essentially, is a story about a transformation. A wonderful, not always pleasant, transformation. One that takes almost an entire lifetime to make. In that sense I think it's more realistic than other books that are also transformation stories. Realistically, we are transforming ourselves our entire lives and we don't always get things right the first time around. To me this book was a more realistic capture of what it's like to face your battles and constantly be changing, taking the long and hard journey life offers us in order to have that so called "happy" ending. The last third of the book you start to see how Dolores' life comes complete circle, and she is back where she began, but now in a different sense, with a different perspective. It's a story about growing up. It's a story about realizing how different people have different meaning in your life, but how each one plays an important role. It's a story about how life is always surprising you, sometimes in a bad way and sometimes in a good way.

One of my favorite quotes from the book, that won't give anything away, is this one found towards the very end:
"I thought about how love was always the thing that did that—smashed into you, left you raw. The deeper you loved, the deeper it hurt." 

This book has so many themes, that I'm sure everyone will find something they can relate to. I have a lot of feelings towards this book, but I can't really express them here without giving any spoilers away. It's definitely a book I would recommend.

If you've read it before, please share in the comments what you loved most about it (or didn't love!) because I love discussing these kinds of things with people!

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