Monday, October 13, 2008

Hello, I Must be Going

This is the book I bought at Housing Works, the fantastic book store that Amanda recommended when I was visiting New York City earlier this month. After purchasing it, I mistakenly decided that the Bob Dylan biography I also bought in NYC would be more stimulating and therefore started it instead. How wrong I was! This book was WAY better than Like A Rolling Stone.

Hello, I Must be Going by Christie Hodgen is about Frankie and her family. Frankie narrates the story of her father’s suicide and how her family copes with the aftermath. The book takes place primarily in the 80s when Frankie is in middle school. Her father is a Vietnam vet who lost his leg in the war and is now terribly depressed but still an amazing father. There isn’t a heavy plot, it's more of a coming of age book and a fair amount of the book is spent remembering the past and narrating the day-to-day, but the language is so fresh and smart that I didn’t mind.

I laughed out loud a few times at the dialogue between Frankie and her younger brother Teddy. While I felt disappointed every now and then that Frankie never really moved on, I wasn't ever bored. The characters are fantastically complex and the family dynamics felt very real. Anyone who has ever had a slightly dysfunctional mother or a weird, rebellious brother would probably appreciate reading this book. Except now I feel the need to clarify that I did not have a dysfunctional mother, in fact I had one of the most highly functioning mothers ever. The weird, rebellious brother part did resonate a little for me though. Pretty sure you didn’t ask me about my family. Anyways.

This book felt like the literary equivalent of a good indie film. I’m not saying that this book would make a good movie (although maybe it would), I’m just saying it gave me the same feeling, that I enjoyed it in the same way as I enjoyed say, The Savages or The Ice Storm. If this book was a movie, Frankie would be played by Christina Ricci (circa 2000, before she started looking like a hungry lizard) and her mom would be played by Laura Linney (circa now). I’m not sure if that description will help or further confuse you but it makes perfect sense to me.

So there you have it. This was a good book. Would anyone like it? If yes, I’d be happy to send this to someone. If you’re interested in having this book sent to you, leave a comment and I’ll randomly pick a winner from the bunch on Friday, October 17th. For an extra entry to win, tell me a funny story in your comment about your mother or brother. And if you were raised by your Father and have only sisters, you can tell me a funny story about someone else's mother or brother. Or whatever! Just tell me a funny story and I'll put your name in the hat twice. You get the idea.


mari said...

I would love a chance to read this. Count me in. :)

cranky rae said...

Here's an oldie but a goodie for the win:

1) My mom gave my brother showers until he was like 8. (For others who might be reading this, this is mostly a private joke with Jill and mostly myth... mostly)

Rachel said...

I would love a copy as well :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good one. As for a story:

When I was in high school and a boy broke my heart, my mom suggested that we send him rude Hallmark cards without signing them from all different towns. We would buy the cards together, go driving around to area towns to mail them anonymously. It was great fun!! Healthy? Not sure.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
flip flops on Lex said...

Just a random reader. Great header and blog name! Can't wait to see what you read next.