Jump Off the Deep End

Chronology of WaterI don’t usually purchase books anymore. I move a lot, and I feel that packing three extra boxes with books I rarely open doesn’t align with my nomadic ways. I usually just check out books from the library, write out them, and return them.

Then I read The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch. And I have to own a copy of this book. I must. This is a book I want to keep so I can read and reread it.

How do I give a brief synopsis of this memoir? I’ll try, but it won’t do it justice. This is Yuknavitch’s personal story of growing up in a sexually abusive home, having Olympic dreams crushed, and rambling into adulthood with a string of relationships. Yeah, it’s harsh.

But what I love most is the writing. Her voice is so distinct and clearly her own. She throws punches and won’t apologize for how she is. Every chapter comes at different stages of her life, and things are out of order. But that’s ok. Linear doesn’t work for her. This is known to be a memoir about incest, but she doesn’t explicitly write about that. It’s there, though. And you have to be patient and listen. Because that’s show she chooses to tell her story. Not only that, but she’ll make jokes when she takes us to dark places.

For me, this is a memoir I want to have on my bookshelf, so I can be inspired by someone’s style. It’s not that I want to mimic her, but I want to take the book, read a passage, and say “Wow! I want to captivate a reader like she does!”