Book Six: The House at Sugar Beach

The House at Sugar Beach, Helene Cooper

I'm not really the biggest fan of memoirs. I find them a bit, "And then this happened, and then I did this, and this person is so-and-so, and that person is so-and-so, and I did that, and she did that," et cetera et cetera. You know, lots of tell, not enough show. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule (for example the thoroughly awesome The Tender Bar or the very funny Kick Me), but I usually don't gravitate toward this genre for those reasons.

This one was pretty good, though, but ultimately, for me, still fell into the usual memoir trappings. I learned some things about Liberia that I previously wasn't aware of, I found her writing pretty decent and, at some moments, compelling, and I was even surprised by finding my eyes welling up with tears near the end of the story. But I have this sneaking suspicion that in a few months I probably won't really remember much about this. Not because Helene Cooper's story isn't interesting or tragic or that I don't care about the plight of the Liberian people, but because the telling of it didn't grab me and hold me tight and carry me through the story. Perhaps I'm history's greatest monster for feeling this way about this book, but eh, I'm willing to take that chance if it means demanding great writing at all times.


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