A whale’s tooth, a skeleton key, a mushroom.
These are among the objects that Stephanie LaCava collects, an obsession of hers that began in childhood, a way of understanding herself and the world around her:
“Collecting information and talismans is a way of exercising magical control. You can hold a lucky charm and know everything about nature’s creatures yet still be terribly lonely.”
Stephanie LaCava’s family moves to the Parisian suburb of Le Vesinet when she’s twelve, and there she feels like she doesn’t belong either: “From then on, I would never be quite American and, by virtue of my birthplace, never truly French either.”
Stephanie’s story initially resonated with me. While I didn’t suffer from the depression that she struggled with, I too was a quiet kid who liked reading and tended to keep to myself. And reading was a way to escape that awkwardness I felt with other people, although for Stephanie, it was slightly different:
“Reading was a Pascalian diversion; stories and facts were a diversion from spiraling thoughts. I had always hated loudness. It was loud enough inside my head.”
But I felt like she was holding so much back. It’s a really short book and a quick read. And at the end of it, I didn’t really get to know her, despite the fact that this is categorised as a memoir. Still it was an enjoyable read and made me curious about the various aspects of Parisian life that she talked about.
This book is one of the reasons why I’m reluctant to buy e-books. Because it is a delight to look at. The lovely green hardcover with the artwork printed directly on it, the drawings of the various objects that LaCava uses to tell her story of her teenaged years in France.
However, the footnotes can be a little distracting and didn’t offer quite as much in-depth information as I would like, although the bibliography at the end has provided some interesting additions to my TBR list.
Wednesday, December 5th: Dolce Bellezza
Thursday, December 6th: The Feminist Texican [Reads]
Friday, December 7th: Great Imaginations
Monday, December 10th: Stephany Writes
Tuesday, December 11th: Bibliosue
Wednesday, December 12th: nomadreader
Thursday, December 13th: Conceptual Reception
Monday, December 17th: Walking With Nora
Tuesday, December 18th: Unabridged Chick
Wednesday, December 19th: West Metro Mommy
Thursday, December 20th: Olduvai Reads
Wednesday, December 26th: BookNAround
Thursday, December 27th: Luxury Reading
Friday, December 28th: What She Read …
Monday, December 31st: Becca’s Byline
Tuesday, January 1st: In the Next Room