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review 2017-03-30 03:58
Difficult Women
Difficult Women - Roxane Gay

I discovered Roxane Gay through her essays about feminism, pop culture, and her life. Her voice immediately captivated me with her thoughtful reflections on a wide variety of topics, so I was excited to read a collection of her short stories. Unfortunately, I didn't find them as captivating as her essays.

 

There's no question for me that Roxane Gay is a talented writer. All her short stories were unique and focused on women from different backgrounds. However, short stories tend to be fairly hit or miss for me. More often than not with the stories I appreciated the story she was telling, but didn't connect emotionally with it. There were a handful that where I was drawn in to the story, but that was sadly just not the case for most of them. I wish I loved her fiction writing as much as I love her non-fiction. Sadly, I seem to merely like it.

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review 2017-03-28 21:37
Give this Collection, 4 Stars
Difficult Women - Roxane Gay

I honestly didn't like some of the stories which is why I ended up giving this collection as a whole 4 stars. Gay writes extremely well though. I can honestly say that I could picture everything that she was describing in her stories. To the point a few times I had to hug myself at the end of a story. I am happy that I bought this though since I can see myself in the future re-reading some of my favorite stories, and that's how you know you have a home-run with me that even without it being a 5 star rated book by me, I have every intention of coming back and thinking about what was written. I honestly wish that Gay would come back and revisit some of these characters in future works.

 

"I Will Follow You" (5 stars)-The love that a pair of sisters have for one another. This story sets the stage for the rest of the collection. I actually re-read this one twice just because I wanted to let the story live longer with me. Heartbreaking and full of hope at the same time. 

 

"Water, All Its Weight" (3 stars)-I honestly was confused with this one. It definitely had a fairytale aspect to it. But after reading the previous story, I guess I wasn't in the headspace for something I found to just be quirky.

 

"The Mark of Cain" (3 stars)-This one was weird. A woman pulled between two brothers. I honestly didn't get why she made the choices she did. I think throughout the whole story I was just confused. I don't know why anyone would say to themselves this is a good life. But maybe that was the lesson that Gay was trying to get across.

 

"Difficult Women" (5 stars)-I loved how Gay breaks down all of the cliches we have all heard before about women. Breaking things down so that you can see the woman behind the loose, frigid, and crazy. About seeing what mothers and even dead girls think about. Wonderful from beginning to end.

 

When a Crazy Woman is Misunderstood

It started with a phone call after a third date where she followed him home and they had sex, nothing memorable, but overall, adequate. 

They had breakfast at the diner next door.

He ate eggs, scrambled soft.

She had pancakes, doused in syrup and butter.

"I can't believe you're a woman who eats," he said. 

"You're a goddamned dream.

 

FLORDIA (5 stars)-Once again Gay breaks down a community of women that live in a gated community in Florida. 

 

La Negra Blanca (4 stars)-A look at a woman who is passing as white who uses what she has body wise to pay for school. I like the story, but think adding in the customer to it made it a little too Hollywood movie for me. He was also a gross figure and the whole ending left me with chills. I maybe made sure my door was locked at the end of this story.

 

"Baby Arm" (2 stars)-My least favorite of all of the stories. I don't know, I feel like this is something that I maybe once upon watched on Adult Swim at night one time. Only in anime form or something. I also started giggling remembering 30 Rock with Liz Lemon.

 

"North Country" (5 stars)-I loved this story from beginning to end. Reading about a woman learning to love again and a man who works his way into her heart was great. I would love to see this brought to film one day. The narrator's story of how she ended up where she was to meet Magnus was great. 


"How" (3 stars)-Eh. I think that it was just okay. I didn't have any big takeaways from it. And I hate how the character of Hanna never did reveal what her mother had to say. 

 

"Requiem for a Glass Heart" (2 stars)-I didn't really care for this story much. Once again based on what went before, it was just okay.

 

"In the Event of My Father's Death" (3 stars)-I hated the ending.

 

"Break All the Way Down" (5 stars)-Once again this story brought to film would be wonderful. I loved it. I also got why the main character was punishing herself. When the reveal comes out you will get it too. 

 

"Bad Priest" (3 stars)-Just made me think about the Thorn Birds. Nothing Earth shattering here. 

 

"Open Marriage" (4 stars)-The shortest of the short stories and the one that did crack me up. 

 

"Best Features" (5 stars)-I loved Milly and sat and thought to myself how many of my friends and even me have had that thing drilled into our heads due to what is considered undesirable. I was made fun of for being light skinned and would often sit outside to make myself darker. For some African American men I am too dark, for others, not light enough, for some white men definitely too dark and for some of them they want someone dark skinned to make things more "exotic." With Milly being heavy weight she always feels as if she has to give in anytime a man shows her interest since she knows that she is not seen as desirable like thin women are. Just loved the whole story. It really made me think.

 

"Bone Density" (5 stars)-The ins and outs of marriage. I am pretty happy that I am single after reading this story.

 

"I Am a Knife" (3 stars)-Once again I didn't get this until almost the end. But I have to say that I got bored with reading the word knife over and over again.

 

"The Sacrifice of Darkness" (4.5 stars)-I liked this one though I found most of it to be odd. If you can get your head past the central premise of the story you may like it too.

 

"Noble Things" (4 stars)-Way too soon after the US election and Gay imagines a world in which we have another Civil War. I liked this story, but thought the ending didn't quite get there. 

 

"Strange Gods" (5 stars)-A powerful ending to this collection. Until you get to the reveal you don't get what is happening with our narrator. You just know that she loves the man she's with and is in a stream of consciousness writing tell him her beginning that he is unaware of right now.

 

I liked for the most part that in every story that the women/girls within it were not just white and that so many issues were brought up in this collection: rape, spousal abuse, lying, sexual needs, faith, sin, hope, I can go on. Definitely worth a read!

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text 2017-03-28 02:01
Reading progress update: I've read 191 out of 272 pages.
Difficult Women - Roxane Gay

So far my thoughts on this collection is mixed. Some stories blew me away and others puzzled me. My favs so far are: I Will Follow You, Difficult Women, FLORIDA, North County, How, Break All the Way Down, and Best Features. Stories that I didn't care for so far: Water, All It's Weight, The Mark of Cain, and Baby Arm.

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text 2017-03-26 16:36
Reading progress update: I've read 22 out of 272 pages.
Difficult Women - Roxane Gay

First story in collection blew me away.

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review 2016-11-16 19:23
Cowboy and Willis Review
Cowboy and Wills - Monica Holloway

“Mr. and Mrs. Holloway, I have some news concerning about your son.”

 

When a parent hears this from their doctor, they know right away something is wrong. At first you don’t want to hear it. You don’t want to accept that there could possibly be anything wrong with your child. Yes, he may show some signs of being too clingy, he’s terrified of strangers, won’t look you in the eye, and a simple bubble bath is an excruciating experience, but there can’t be anything seriously wrong with him, it’s just….HIM. But when the Doctor confirms that your son has Autism, and that it is a “lifetime affliction” that there is no cure, it changes your life forever. The first thing that usually pops into a mother’s head is “How am I going to do this? What can I do to help my child? Will he ever know how much I love him?” Monica Holloway is lost in trying to find these answers for herself, but because of her unconditional love to her son she wants to make his transition to life smooth.

 

It is a memoir of an unconditional love of a mother whose son has autism. Monica Holloway has read all the books; she read all the forums on the internet; she knew that some way, somehow her son was going to be alright, was going to be able to see the world for what it is and not be afraid of it. Monica didn’t realize that with all the doctors in the world, it was the love from a puppy that would change her sons’ outlook on life.
The moment that her son was diagnosed, she went out to buy some fish to get Will interested in something. He seemed to be interested in the fish, in the hermit crab…a rabbit…a hamster and a sea turtle. Animals seem to keep her son stay in tune with life, and not crawl into his own shell. But with all those animals, Monica never imagined how much one Golden Retriever puppy would transform her son’s life….and hers. Because of her love for her son Wills, she bought him a Golden Retriever which Wills named her Cowboy. Cowboy is a female. She has blonde fur. While Wills not be able to look you in the eye, Cowboy would lick anybody close to her. Wills is in love. Where ever the dog went, Wills was sure to follow and vice versa. Wills wouldn’t leave the dog side for anything. And in turn, Cowboy showed that the big world that Wills is so afraid of isn’t so bad after all.

 

A memoir so rich, so unforgettable that had me reaching for tissues, that I know you all will love and cherish.

 

(I would like to dedicate this book to my cousin who has Autism.)

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/6290336-cowboy-wills
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