Why be Happy When you Could be Normal?

Why be Happy CoverThis is a very powerful story about the adoption of Jeanette Winterson by a somewhat uninviting cheerless coup, during the 1960s.

This memoir vividly brings alive what I can only describe as a child’s upbringing within the confines of a long period of darkness. The mother, Mrs Winterson, possesses very rigid religious views. She is somewhat Calvinistic in outlook. She has a tormented spirit, tormented by bouts of depression and a consistent fatalistic belief that the apocalypse is imminent. The father is also emotionless and undemonstrative.

However Jeanette’s spirit of resistance is not crushed by this deadly part of her life. Jeanette is a strong character who endures such hardship with what I perceive as an innermost strength. I greatly admire the way she courageously rises above the oppressive atmosphere generated by this morbid couple.

Eventually Jeanette produces an award winning fictitious masterpiece and in this personal memoir, a liberating cathartic experience for her, she ascends the trials of a Dickensian upbringing very courageously and admirably.

ANITA MACKWOOD
SHIPLEY READING GROUP
18th December 2012

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