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In the beginning Kate Millett gave an introduction to the story, giving her thoughts from a perspective of not knowing Maryse Holder, directly. While, Edith Jones gave a note describing Maryse Holder from a perspective that some could say may be biased, as she was close with Maryse. In either case, it gave the reader two perspectives to keep in mind, forcing the reader to keep an open mind while reading her letters. I had to keep Google open, and had to refer to my husband with the Spanish terms frequently as I am not well cultured with other countries, or languages. I enjoyed reading it despite the fact that it was a huge step out of my comfort zone and very slow going. I am not usually a fan of books that seem to take forever to read, but this book, I strongly believe should be read slowly and really given the time to absorb.
Maryse Holder, as I saw her, was trying too hard to find love, and when she found somebody who showed any kind of interest in her she went immediately head over heels for the man and when he left her, which seemed to be common, she was not necessarily heartbroken, but let down and disappointed in yet another failed relationship. She went through moments of kindness, madness, and all different emotions. She was an alcoholic, smoked pot and was self conscious of her body to the point of throwing up after she ate. I don't like to place judgment on people that I do not know, but she seemed like a woman in the 1970's just trying to make a life for herself. Help herself get back on track from the loss of a job and the brutal woman's life in the states. Maryse was a woman, a feminist that felt love and contempt for men and their treatment of women all at the same time.
Throughout the book, mostly through the first set of letters, things were a little unspecific, she always mentioned her deformity but it was never clear what her deformity was and also, she mentions the thought of being pregnant but it is never told if she really is pregnant other than the fact that she has symptoms. At the end, in the Epilogue, Selma Yampolsky talks of her relationship with Maryse Holder. She describes something like sisterly love for Maryse but it has a lover's tone to it. She answers questions that the reader is left wondering about through Maryse's letters. The way she described Maryse, was very much similar to how I felt without having known her personally.
There was not much that I did not like in Give Sorrow Words. It was enjoyable to read mostly in the fact that it was a learning experience for myself as the reader. The letters were full of description of her surroundings and of Mexico in the late 1970's. A time, which in general, I am not totally familiar with. One thing, that did bother me a little was errors. Mostly, y's replaced by v's in words, and 1 replaced I. Other than that there were very few other errors to be found in the book.
I rate Give Sorrow Words a 3 out of 4 stars because I truly did enjoy this book. It was enlightening, and challenging. I recommend this book to any nonfiction lovers out there, or those that wish to expand their vocabulary and knowledge.
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