I’m Sorry You Feel That Way: The Astonishing But True Story of a Daughter, Sister, Slut, Wife, Mother and Friend to Dog & Man by Diana Joseph was a charming read; Ms. Joseph had me laughing just mere sentences into her first memoir. Diana Joseph is blatantly honest, her writing is pure and funny, and the book [...]
I’m Sorry You Feel That Way: The Astonishing But True Story of a Daughter, Sister, Slut, Wife, Mother and Friend to Dog & Man by Diana Joseph was a charming read; Ms. Joseph had me laughing just mere sentences into her first memoir. Diana Joseph is blatantly honest, her writing is pure and funny, and the book is a bit sad. Not only is she exactly my age and reminds me of one of my college roommates, but she teaches, and her common law husband grew up near my hood in Michigan. I knew I was going to fall hard for her, and boy, did I ever. The story begins simple, and it builds and builds, weaving a medley exactly like The Beatles song A Day in the Life. I have sat here for over a minute, trying to find the words to describe by what I mean by that, and I can’t find them. Actually, it would be easier to have you listen to the song, then imagine her story ending the way the song does. I hope that makes sense, because that last chapter of hers smacked me so hard in the face that I still haven’t recovered from it.
Sometimes, you can judge a book by its cover. In I’m Sorry You Feel That Way: The Astonishing But True Story of a Daughter, Sister, Slut, Wife, Mother and Friend to Dog & Man, you know you are getting sex stories, mom stories, daughter stories, dog stories, etc. You see that cherry speared and you know sex and alcohol are going to be in the mix. What I loved best was her father’s advice to her about boys. I won’t spoil all of it, but his simple “Don’t be a pig” was hilarious to me, as it was reminiscent of my childhood. My great-grandmother (who raised me on weekends and summers) would squeeze my arm daily from age twelve to sixteen and whispered “don’t be a whore like your mother” into my ear. I miss the non-politically correct days of the seventies and eighties where you could attempt to scare and terrify kids out of sex. It worked for me, but not for Diana. She had her boy young, and she covers a lot of ground about the ups and downs of her life, never falling into the “poor me” mud puddle so many memoirists can land in. She just writes without apologies; her life was her life, and she isn’t trying to gloss over her mistakes and decisions. I admire that type of writing, it is so refreshing. Life is about getting your feet muddy, but I love books like this one that remind you not everyone is clean and shiny. I like the darkness, the badness, the ugliness of reality. It’s beautiful to me. This is Diana Joseph’s first memoir, and the fact that she teaches creative writing in the MFA program at Minnesota State University, Mankato is definitely evident by the type of writing she did in this book. She knows how to tell her story, it seems so effortless but by no means is so. Simply, I just loved her book, and now I adore her. Don’t be a fool and not read it yourself. Watch her talk about her video if you don’t believe me. Listen to the crowd laugh and laugh at her. She charms them just as she’s charmed me.
To visit Diana Joseph’s website, which is full of fun stuff, click here.
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