Friday, August 9, 2013

Review: Her by Christa Parravani

Christa Parravani and her identical twin, Cara, were linked by a bond that went beyond siblinghood, beyond sisterhood, beyond friendship. Raised up from poverty by a determined single mother, the gifted and beautiful twins were able to create a private haven of splendor and merriment between themselves and then earn their way to a prestigious college and to careers as artists (a photographer and a writer, respectively) and to young marriages. But, haunted by childhood experiences with father figures and further damaged by being raped as a young adult, Cara veered off the path to robust work and life and in to depression, drugs and a shocking early death.

A few years after Cara was gone, Christa read that when an identical twin dies, regardless of the cause, 50 percent of the time the surviving twin dies within two years; and this shocking statistic rang true to her. "Flip a coin," she thought," those were my chances of survival." First, Christa fought to stop her sister's downward spiral; suddenly, she was struggling to keep herself alive.

Beautifully written, mesmerizingly rich and true, Christa Parravani's account of being left, one half of a whole, and of her desperate, ultimately triumphant struggle for survival is informative, heart-wrenching and unforgettably beautiful.

Received for review.

As I've mentioned before I'm not big into memoirs, biographies, whatever.  I was intrigued by the twin aspect of this particular memoir so I decided to give it a try.

The story was interesting, but I never really connected with the author.  She just felt very cold to me.  I felt no sympathy for her which made reading the book incredibly tedious.

Yes, this was a terrible story.  Yes, it's horrible that she lost her twin, but she doesn't have to be such a cold, cruel bitch about it.

The turning point from a two to a one star book came when the author coldly and carelessly described how her sister's twenty year old cat had passed from a stroke days before her sister committed suicide and how her sister helplessly watched him die.  It was very Dexter.  Really, she was that cold and empty and almost cruel about it.  It just turned me right off her as human being and, hence, her story.  When a person can just describe someone watching a family member (human or animal) die of a stroke right in front of someone and not even feel a shred of emotion I can no longer read about her trials and care.  That, to me, is no longer a human being and it sickens me.

So, if you are an animal hater or psychopath you may enjoy the author's cold, cruel attitude, but if you have a shred of humanity in you you will pass this by and not even let its meanness taint your personal space.  Do not touch this with a ten foot pole.

☆☆ = Didn't Like It


Kat R said...

I have this on my TBR - going to re-think it now! Kinda of reminds me of how I felt about Cheryl Strayed's memoir Wild -cold, detached animal killer. Thanks for the heads up!

Mystica said...

Thank you for an honest review.

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