Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What happened, indeed....

"What Happened To the Girl I Married?" is the choice for July's SVM book club. I was truly excited about this book as the basic outline was said to chronicle one man's journey into becoming the stay at home parent for a year and finding out exactly where his wife had "disappeared" to. The description definitely fits, as the book is about the author's own discoveries regarding the impact that being an at-home parent can have on one's psyche.

Sadly, I was very disappointed with the overall presentation and body of the book. I could appreciate and feel the love he has for his wife, and could understand why she would adore such a piece of work. But while reading the book, I was forever comparing it to a high school English paper. A paper where the teacher said Michael had to use "X" amount of words and pages before he passed it in, so the same 3 topics were rephrased over and over again... There was never any true "guts" to this piece! Mr. Miller definitely told us, repeatedly, that he now understood what a completely selfish boor he used to be. He described all of his previous faults and how those faults caused his wife's identity to "fragment". But the WAYS he came to these miraculous break throughs and "a-ha" moments? The stories (I'm sure there are DOZENS!) that resulted from his attempts to keep the house running? Those were absent. Non-existent. NEVER mentioned! Another missing element to giving this book life? Explaining what his wife was doing that entire year that he was home!! Where was she? Was she rediscovering herself at a job or college course? At the mall? The SPA?!? (Seriously! I want to know. I NEED to know. I kept searching for this tidbit in the book, and if I missed it? I'll retract this section of the paragraph because IT DROVE ME CRAZY!)

I am actually quite surprised to see this book published in the form that it is in. With some decluttering of the repeats and some additions of personal experiences, this book would have made me smile and suggest it to others. Instead, I am left feeling cheated that the editors allowed this obviously heartfelt story (and I felt the love. I FELT how much he adored his wife and how lucky he feels to have changed before he lost her!) to go to print in what I consider to be a first draft stage. (I won't even go on about the conniptions I had regarding improper grammar, punctuation and the incorrect use of words such as "their" and "shear" instead of "sheer"...)

I am not a book author. I write on blogs. I write quickly and can make mistakes, on occasion. However, if I were to write a book, you can be damn sure that I would have had 20 people review the book for not only small errors but for the honest truth about turning a long but sweet love letter into a book you cannot put down. At only 129 pages, I had to pick it up continuously for I was always putting it down.

9 comments:

JC said...

Love this review! I haven't read a good book in ages, but I am mostly a blog reader & writer. I have always pondered the idea of writing a book, but unless I can turn a blog into a book, it ain't gonna happen. LOL

sheila said...

Wow, the whole title and your starting description sounded like an awesome book. But yeah sounds like a lot was really lacking.

This is a great, honest review. And I agree, if I were an author 'd do the same thing. Maybe it's because we're women, we think like that? :)

CaraBee said...

That book would drive me CRAZY! I am a little over the top with my obsession with bad grammar and punctuation. It makes me loopy when I see it in blog posts. I get a couple of typos, but there are some people who obviously don't reread. But in a book? Maddening! I will definitely not pick this one up.

the mama bird diaries said...

Great title for a book. Bummer it wasn't better.

Babe in Babeland said...

I like your honest review.

By the way, the photos of your kids are ADORABLE!!!

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

It makes me nuts to read a book with spelling errors. Sometimes it doesn't register when I am reading and I will be sitting at dinner or whatever and remember it. Then I have to go back and find it and check. Maddening! (and throwing stones at my own glass house to be honest!)
I wonder would it be more interesting to a man... such as my husband....

Debbie said...

Ridiculous! That's disappointing! It sounds like it had such potential too.

And yes, grammatical errors in published works drives me to distraction. I see that at work in technical papers all the time. It really decreases someone's credibility in my mind. End short rant. :)

Kristi said...

Ugh. Was the book self-published? If not, his editor should be fired.

melanie said...

i still haven't finished the book. i just don't think i can. it is just too painful to read. i didn't write that in my blog post (i was worried about hurting the guy's feelings!) but i also didn't say anything about reading it because i didn't want anyone to think i recommended it. thank you for such an honest review!

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