Saturday, February 27, 2010
My Favorite Memoir of the Year--
Marrying George Clooney: Confessions from a Midlife Crisis by Amy Ferris (Seal Press, 2009) $16.95
Not all authors can combine humor, heartbreak, candidness, and the ability to tell a great story, but Amy Ferris does this. In her new memoir, Marrying George Clooney: Confessions from a Midlife Crisis, she shares the details of her own mid-life menopause, quitting smoking after 32 years, married life, as well as the having to care for her mother who is suffering from severe dementia.
The book begins with an insomnia-filled Amy up at 3 a.m. googling old boyfriends. How could I not love a book that offers that gem in the first chapter? Written in short vignettes, I could not put the book down once I began reading it. Each section offered a new surprise, laugh-out-loud humor, and definitely some guffaw-moments, such as the section "Ragtime," which may have you asking the males in your life some intimate questions to the more poignant section "Kathy," about the death of her best friend.
Ferris’ book does what many other memoirs don’t do, it tells the truth. Not just the good stuff, but the complex emotions we feel and the ridiculousness of daily life happening around us. Ferris is not afraid to be candid. She shares her private thoughts as well as her nighttime fears from believing she has some incurable disease to answering an email at night to a friend’s concerns about death in saying she’s “more afraid of being forgotten. Her honesty offers a calmness to the reader in that we are not alone in our thoughts and feelings.
The book is unique in its format—different fonts, font sizes, italics or boldness throughout its pages. At first, I thought this layout would be distracting while I read the book, but what I realized was how the quirkiness of the book’s appearance only adds to the anecdotes Ferris tells and mirrors the distinctiveness of her writing and voice.
Ferris is wise, hilarious, and has successfully created a book that draws the reader into her world of junk drawers, insomnia, and the intricacy of relationships. Marrying George Clooney was a highly satisfying read from beginning to end and I would add that it was definitely the best and funniest memoir I read all year. Highly recommend.