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Later with MyselfLater with Myself by Sheryl Sorrentino
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Raw.  This is the one word that I would use to describe this book.  It has an honesty that is refreshing.  What this author has done with this story is amazing.  It takes true, God given talent, to do what, Sheryl Sorrentino, has done with this book.  This type of writing isn’t something that you cultivate, I truly believe, that it’s a talent that you are born with.  She is able to tell a horrific story,  through the eyes of a victim without the victim sounding victimized, instead she sounds strong, sympathetic, and triumphant for having gone through what she did.

The story is told from the perspective of the main character, Millie, who as an adult, has to unleash herself from the horrors of her childhood.  Through therapy, she is able to go back and relive the childhood that has haunted her for many years.  We are able to relive this childhood with Millie, and we are able to feel sympathy for a child who was forced to grow up and witness things that no child should ever see.  Sorrentino does such an amazing job with each character.  We are able to get a full picture of what life for Millie must have been like.  What I really enjoy about Sorrentino’s writing is how she is able to give full details without sounding redundant. She gives just enough for us to be able to visualize, without boring us with unnecessary details.  Many authors, even successful ones, have tried this and failed.  I have been known to yell at books,  “I don’t care if Bella took a sip of water from a freaking glass cup with dots on it!”  Really, who cares if a character is drinking out of a glass with dots, unless it’s important to the big picture.

The story itself is heart wrenching, as a mother, I wanted many times to just scoop this little girl in my arms and tell her how special she is.  The things that she lived through seem unreal, until you get to the end of the book and read that these are accounts from the author’s life.  It is amazing to me that a story so close to this woman’s heart can be told with such truth and clarity.  Yes, this story is deep and tugs at your heart, but it’s not a dreary read, there are many times that I laughed out loud.  These family members where some characters I tell you.  They had big personalities and in the midst of all the dysfunction there were moments of hilarity and even tender ones.

After putting down this book, the characters remained with me.  I pondered for many days.  This to me is the sign of a great story.  I am so happy that I discovered this author, and I really hope she continues to write more stories because honesty and talent like hers is hard to come by.

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