Jeanette Winterson's 'Oranges are not the only fruit' was one of the books that helped me when I had decided to try for happiness, while the people I loved wanted me to rather be normal instead. So the title of this book talked to me immediately. This is an autobiography that takes the reader back again to the author's youth in the North of England. She was adopted, and her adoptive mother damaged her in many ways, but this is not a bitter book. It is about how she stayed (mostly) sane despite the loneliness and rage, how she 'kept her heart awake' through reading, and how she was determined to find love. In the end she finds her birth mother, but it is not a conventionally happy ending. The wound does not heal, however there is enough love in her life now that she can allow herself to feel the pain. The book is written in 'real time', so the reader witnesses all the raw emotions in the process of finding her mother. The intensity is sometimes breathtaking. Winterson writes:'There is always a wild card. And what I had were books'. This one is certainly wild card material again.
The author tells us about her childhood with extremely religious adoptive parents who threw her out at 16 and about the search for her biological mother a couple of decades later.
The book is really difficult to sum up. My attempt to do so anyway: hilarious yet heartbreaking, always brutally honest and sometimes absolutely shocking.
To call “Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal” amazing or fantastic does not really do it justice. Potentially life- changing is more accurate. It gave me plenty of food for thought and also brought back many half- forgotten childhood memories of my own. Unexpectedly, reading this book put me in a very good mood -> despite not only laughing, but also crying much more than usually while reading. In short it really cheered me up.
Only disadvantage of having read my favourite book of the year already at the beginning of January: finding exciting reading material is very difficult now.
Dieser autobiografischer Einblick in Winterson's Weg zu sich selbst ist besonders wertvoll für alle, die sich für Adoptionserfahrungen interessieren. Wintersons's Sprache ist nach wie vor ehrlich und unbequem.
Dieses biografische Buch von Jeanette Winterson ist surrealer als jede Fiction, die ich von ihr gelesen habe. Inhaltlich steht dieser Roman dementsprechend ihren Büchern um nichts nach. Sprachlich wie immer brilliant.
dazu ist dies auch nicht das einzige Buch. Beide haben mir sehr gut gefallen und ich mag Jeanette Winterson sehr gerne lesen. England, Sekten, coming out? seltsam? Ganz und gar nicht, seltsames ist völlig normal. Gehst in Nachbars Haus, kommst getrost heraus ...
Ausserordentlich beeindruckendes Buch. Sprachlich und inhaltlich herausragend. Der Autorin gelingt es, ihre Lebensgeschichte und insbesondere ihre Adoptionserfahrungen mit viel psychologischem Tiefgang darzustellen. Das Buch ist insbesondere auch Menschen zu empfehlen, welche sich privat oder beruflich mit Adoptionserfahrungen auseinandersetzen.