Monday, July 05, 2010

What my mother doesn't know

What my Mother Doesn't Know is a sweet little book written in free-form verse. It's over 250 pages, but I read it in about an hour. It's about a young woman (12ish?) who's parents don't get along and watch too much television, and her boyfriend's a d-bag who doesn't want his parents to know she's Jewish.

Apparently it's a frequently banned book because this young woman (*gasp!*) acknowledges her own sexual feelings and says the word "breasts" a couple of times. After a school dance, she waits for her mother, who's late:
I never thought
it would happen this way --
with the guy standing closest to me
suddenly bursting out laughing
and grabbing my breasts
with his slimy paws
squeezing them for a split second
that seems to last forever.

I never once envisioned
the devirginization of my breasts
happening like this,
with the guy and his scumbag buddy
slapping five afterwards
(Then she punches him! Yea!)

Well, it's an utterly charming little book and I'd recommend it to just about anyone. One of the most lovely bits (for me) was when she goes to the museum to view her favorite painting, La Bal à Bougival and she later learns that the young woman in the painting is Suzanne Valadon - that's a nice shout-out for a little-known post-impressionist.

Here's some amusing negative criticism on Amazon:

1 comment:

KHM said...

Yay! This sounds like a good read for Haley (and me!). Did I mention she's RIPPING through summer reading---she reads entire novels in a day or two... of course if she'd get off her arse and do her chores, there'd be less reading.