Sunday, November 29, 2015

Dept of Speculation by Jenny Offill

Books on the Nightstand recommend this one and they didn't get it wrong:

Jenny Offill’s Dept. of Speculation is a read-in-one-sitting powerhouse of a novel, full of emotion and gorgeousness. It’s a look at a woman who is suffering a crisis in her marriage, written in the form of letters that read like journal entries. This isn’t an easy book to describe, but it’s a novel that works on many different levels and is quite unique in style.
This is a crazy ass book. I almost think I would recommend reading rather than listening, although listening was a bit of a trip. Super short book- 3 hours or 182 pages - we walk through a marriage that breaks down with the narrator, simply known as "The Wife".

Before The Wife became The Wife, she was single and fell in love. A baby girl came along, happiness was abundant even with a colicky baby. Then things settled and became ... there. The Husband found someone else but The Wife wasn't letting go.

As a reviewer of books, I shouldn't say I'm at a loss to describe why this book is worth the read and why it's so good. It's a stream of consciousness. It's lyrical. It's real. It's how I would imagine myself in a marriage - constant doubting of my ability to even be a normal human being. Doubting, but still trying anyways. Doubting, and being called The Crazy Wife. Trying not to ruin the little human I'm tasked with making into a responsible adult.

“Three things no one has ever said about me:
You make it look so easy.
You are very mysterious.
You need to take yourself more seriously.” ― Jenny OffillDept. of Speculation

“How had she become one of those people who wears yoga pants all day? She used to make fun of those people. With their happiness maps and their gratitude journals and their bags made out of recycled tire treads. But now it seems possible that the truth about getting older is that there are fewer and fewer things to make fun of until finally there is nothing you are sure you will never be.” ― Jenny OffillDept. of Speculation 

“What Rilke said: Surely all art is the result of one’s having been in danger, of having gone through an experience all the way to the end, to where no one can go any further.” ― Jenny OffillDept. of Speculation 

So....give it a try. It's only 182 pages of your life

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