2021 Reading Challenge

2021 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 3 books toward her goal of 245 books.

Book Review: Don’t Make Me Turn This Life Around by Camille Pagán

I could not even believe how spot-on parts of this one felt for me, and I almost couldn’t read it for all that. At the time of reading, I was 47 and my father passed away 5 months ago. Reading how Libby dealt with her grief was very difficult – particularly since I saw a LOT of parallels in how I’ve dealt (or not) with my own. I think Pagán did an incredible job with the emotional aspects of grief in this novel – she captured perfectly the way some of us think we can work around it, and how that inevitably fails and causes more grief…

That aside, the book was a lovely trip into someone else’s life for a while, as her books always are. While I found this one a more difficult read because that trip was one with parts I’m all too familiar with, the rest of the story was a lovely and moving tale about coming to terms with aging and the importance of family (the ones we are given and the ones we choose for ourselves). The writing was easy to fall into and the descriptions of the ravaged Puerto Rico were powerful and incredibly evocative. The mixture of light and dark, tragic and comic that seems to be a hallmark of Pagán’s fiction was present as always, and it made what could have been a difficult book for me into one that helped me feel less isolated in my responses to everything that has happened in recent months… It was a wonderful read and I thank her for the delicate way she managed it!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my obligation-free review copy.

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