5.4.09

She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb


I kept on coming across this book on different blogs and book sites and each review was glowing so I thought I would give it a go. This is Wally Lamb's first book; it began life as a short story and it was Lamb's mentor who encouraged him to develop it into a full-blown novel.
It is very much a coming-of-age tale, the central protagonist is Dolores Price; the reader follows her from childhood memories through to being a grown woman in her forties. I think she is possibly one of the most complex characters that I have ever come across. In some chapters she completely repulsed me and made me want to put the book down , in others I just felt sheer compassion and recognition.
Life has not been kind to Dolores, it begins with her parent's divorce and generally goes down-hill from there. The events and unhappiness in her life lead her to overeat until she is clinically obese; this then informs her behaviour in the future and the choices she makes. Wally Lamb packs a lot into this book; his description of Dolores' development from a small child, through puberty and on to adulthood is brilliant on its own. He misses nothing out; the physical changes that women go through plus the many changes and attitude are all there.
It is hard to review this book without giving anything away and I don't want to spoil it for anyone wishing to read it themselves. There are many different events in this book and once I had got used to the character of Dolores, I was completely hooked and couldn't put the book down,
Through his central character, Wally Lamb really does explore how our childhood experiences affect us and can alter the path that the rest of our life takes. The relationship between Dolores and her mother is central to the book and I think that is what will really stay with me. As a young child Dolores makes many assertions about her mother which feed the utterly destructive relationship that the two share. It takes many years for Dolores to reassess her perceptions of her mother and reach some kind of real truth and peace. How many people do we do this with in our own lives?
This book made me both laugh and cry. It is not necessarily a 'nice' book to read but I found it an extremely worthwhile experience. Dolores Price is a beautifully created character; she will stay with me for a long time.

6 comments:

Melody said...

I haven't read anything by this author yet. After reading several good reviews by fellow bookbloggers about his works, I think I've to check out his books soon! :)

violetcrush said...

I am do glad you liked this book. Great review, wants me to read the book even more :)

Savidge Reads said...

Oh this does sound interesting, I have never thought to read this book before! I am so pleased to see you're reading The Parasites I loved it!

Dot said...

Melody and Violet- I did really enjoy this book, you should definitely give it a go, he's a very good writer.

Dot said...

Simon- I had only come across the book on other blogs but I am glad that I read it. I have you to thank for my current reading! Your blog reminded me that The Parasites was sitting on my shelf waiting to be read, I'm really enjoying it!

Savidge Reads said...

Dot, just to let you know I have now bought this thanks to you! Sorry havent commented in ages am playing catch up today.

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