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All Grown Up

by Jami Attenberg

This is an honest, sometimes heart-wrenching account of an insecure, dry witted female who feels left behind in life. There is plenty of sex, minor drug use, troubled friends and family and, of course, a much needed therapist. It's written as if Andrea is talking to a friend and that makes it an easy read. I'm sure a lot of women will relate to the life of a single woman in her 40s living in New York and love it, but for me it was a bit much.

Extract

'It was hard sometimes, growing up in our house.'
'I had a rough ride with your father,' she says. 'It took me a long time to recover.'
'I'm not asking for an explanation,' I say.
I think about all the dinner parties she had after Dad died. All the men in the house. All those laps I sat on. All the attention.
'I'm just saying you've lived without me appearing regularly in your life before, you'll do it again,' she says.
'Who are you trying to console at this exact moment?' I say.
Before we get back on the road, we use the restroom, which reeks of disinfectant, and I gag. A teenage girl grudgingly mops the handicapped stall. My mother stays behind for five extra minutes to discuss the local union situation with the girl.
I go to the car and text every single person I know the following sentence: 'My mother is trying to murder me with her emotions. Please send help.'

Parallels

Everything Is Going to Be Great by Rachel Shukert
 

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