Love her low-level crankiness. Very real.
Bracing. Hilarious. Knowing.
Pretty tame fare for such a bold title. Daum's essays range from the forgettable to the cutesy to the gossipy. The strongest essay is the book's first, a portrait of her mother and grandmother that's affecting and intense. But none of the essays live up to the author's claim in the introduction that she's a fearless truth-teller who says openly what others sugarcoat. Nothing in these pages is particularly bold or outlandish or transgressive. It's all very much in step with the current cultural themes of middle-aged angst, ranting about pet peeves, and claiming for oneself more originality and iconoclasm than one's writing actually delivers.
Funny, but not frivolous. I loved Daum's keen recognition of the absurd, her unapologetic honesty and many 1970s-80s pop culture references. What I loved most about these essays however, is how moving they were. How they started off so specific and individual and ended with broader truths about the expected reactions we've assigned to human experiences.
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