Dysfunction Junction




CURRENT BOOK:  The Liars’ Club by Mary Karr

After eating too much and shopping too much over Thanksgiving weekend, it was back to the grindstone and time to finish the next book on The List.  The work on our house is FINALLY supposed to start on Monday.  It was supposed to start yesterday, but my husband had to go out of town overnight for work and had to push it back so he could be there to give the contractor a key and make sure they put their heads together before anything gets torn out.

Anyway, this book is Karr’s childhood memoir of growing up in the 1960’s, mostly in Texas oil country near the Louisiana border, with her alcoholic parents.  The title refers to the group of rough male oilfield workers with whom her father would hang out and drink, and would even bring her to the bar.  Karr grew up as a tough child prone to fights with other children at school.  When not under the care of their parents, Karr and her sister are left with a number of ineffective sitters, including one who forces Karr to give him oral sex.  Through Karr’s story, I saw in practice the theory that children of alcoholics become the adults and step up to take care of their parents, even at a young age.  For Karr and her sister, this was to the extent that when their parents divorced and gave the girls a choice of which parent they wanted to live with, the girls opted to stay with their mother because they thought their father could more easily manage on his own since he had to hold down his job.  The girls are very aware of the effect that drinking has on their parents and of how it escalates some of their parents’ negative behaviors.

Karr’s writing can be blunt, and while I do find this refreshing, I likely could have done without the description of her grandmother’s amputated leg.  Still, I can see her memoir as being reflective of one facet of the American female experience.

I’m having to skip around a bit due to availability of books at the library so…on to the next one!


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