Beautifully written, evocative and emotionally turbulent... the realities of generational trauma, sense of self, and womanhood collide in this insightful and literary novel.
Sometimes, you read a book and you realize that you're just not...there yet. For me, I think Carry the Dog was conveying messages that I was frankly too young to fully appreciate—I'm a mid-20-something woman, not someone looking back on her life in terms of decades. I'm not there yet, where Bea Seger is at in this novel. But I might be someday, and for that reason I found this novel extremely compelling.
In the 1960s, when Bea was a young child, she and her siblings were photographed in a series of provocative and explosive nude photographs taken by their own mother. They were controversial at the time, and they've remained so up until the present day. But now, museums want to showcase them—and they're talking to Bea about it.
Bea has spent a long time not analyzing those images, or her experiences with them. But should she? And even if she's not willing to self-analyze, would it be worth it for the money?
With those questions circling around her, Bea is also dealing with other elements in her life. Like her complicated relationship with her divorced husband, which is filled with toxicity, subtle and overt betrayals, and issues. Bea's not exactly handled that well internally, either.
But the light is starting to shine on Bea's life, and whether she likes it or not, it's time to look at the pieces around her and locate that inner steel at the core of her womanhood.
Complex? Yes. Beautifully rendered? Also yes. An uplifting and joyful read? Not particularly.
Like I mentioned earlier in this review, I think this book provides more poignancy and support to women and individuals with more life experiences under their belt—I'm not calling anyone "old," y'all, but I am calling myself too young to fully appreciate this novel's bittersweet and lingering resilience.
However, I didn't have to fully understand Bea's struggles and emotional palate to appreciate the raw storytelling skills at play here. The author did a fantastic job at rendering Bea and her journey, and I couldn't help but appreciate that.
Thank you to the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review.
Amy Imogene Reads
Just someone looking for her own door into Wonderland.