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Posted October 29, 2006
The memoir Fierce Attachments is about a mother and her adult daughter who live in New York City. Vivian, the daughter and narrator, grew up in the city and continues to live there as an adult, only a short distance from her mother. This book provides interesting anecdotes and stories about the pasts of the two women as the walk among the streets of New York together in present time. I enjoyed the way Gornick switched between the present and past tenses while telling her story because it allows the reader to understand her present actions and thoughts a little better after each story of her past. However I also thought that her transitions between anecdotes and scenes were rather abrupt. Her generalized conclusions seemed like a cop out of what could have been an interesting analysis of an important story. After sharing a story about her wedding reception, Gornick briefly describes her mother¿s position in the kitchen: ¿Completing my isolation was the sight of Mama in continual food-supplying motion, her eyes grim, on her mouth a fixed smile, her hand out palm up warding off congratulations¿ (137). I think that a quick statement analyzing this behavior would have helped the reader to see the importance of this gesture. Instead, Gornick immediately moves on to a different anecdote without allowing the previous one to set in. I think that with a book of anecdotes, they should be slightly more connected and flow better to give the book some sort of continuity. Overall I feel that it was a decent memoir, but both the actual content of the book and presentation of the stories could have been improved. Since neither aspect was particularly impressive the book was not wonderful but it was a decent book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 11, 2012
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