• kjoannerixon

In the Dream House


It seems that readers are divided into those who loved this book beyond measure and those who wanted to love it, but did not. I'm not sure my feelings about it are so easily divisible. I didn't love it beyond measure. I think as a memoir it has a number of flaws to do with what it reveals and what it obscures, and as prose it has a number of places where it felt stitched together out of previous writing rather than cohesive. However, I truly loved the way it evoked the feeling of a pain you have no language to articulate. How can you talk about something before there are words for it? You talk around it, hoping that the negative space, what you don't say, will slowly take shape and meaning for your listener. I used to try to do this with physical pain. I'd assign different types of pain different colors. "The pain in my knee is neon green," I'd say, "but the pain in my back is muddy red-brown." You can tell it means something, right? But not what. Pain, especially pain carried for a long time, is like that. You can't talk about it. So I think I forgive the Dream House its flaws. I can't say I recommend the book; maybe you won't like it at all. But, hey. It's short. Check it out and see for yourself.


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