2 out of 4 stars
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It Began with Huntley Drinkley by Janny Becker is the writer’s memoir, focusing on her whole life, her marriage, her career, and her psychological disorder. The author aims to go over her life experiences in a simple and informal way, thereby giving the reader direct access to her thoughts, her emotions, and her memories.
The writer begins this book by going over her childhood years and her memories of school. She grew up with an older sister named Caroline, who had severe asthma and suffered throughout her childhood. The author’s father also suffered from a health condition, so she helped her mother by taking care of Caroline and protecting her. The author’s mother, Maxine, was a good pianist, who cared a lot about her social standing and dignity. The author’s family had a tradition of drinking alcohol during evenings, and she joined the drinking when she reached adolescence. She soon began drinking and becoming drunk when she was home alone, but she was never caught. The author continues by going over some of her relationships with boyfriends in high school, while she writes about her admission to the University of Washington.
I found many enjoyable features in the text. For one, the author shared her thoughts authentically and originally, describing her memories and experiences in very unique and descriptive ways, which added interest and thrill to the memoir. What I liked most about this memoir was that the author was very open and honest about herself. By sharing her experiences so directly, the author empowers and encourages other people who are suffering from psychological issues, giving them advice on how to cope with their problems.
Nonetheless, there were also a couple of faults in the book. Firstly, there were too many grammatical and syntax errors in it, which undermined the author’s professionalism and writing status. What I disliked most about this memoir was that it lacked a coherent organization and a harmonic structure, as the author drifted back and forth, describing many events occurring at different times, which can be extremely confusing for the reader.
This book will be mostly enjoyed by older readers who like memoirs and autobiographies. Older readers will appreciate this book more because the author writes about many things that occurred during the 1960s and 1970s. Therefore, people who grew up during these decades will relate best to her story. Readers who have mental disorders may profit from the writer’s advice and her memories of her experiences.
In summary, this book deserves a rating of 2 out of 4 stars. It deserves no less because it was original, interesting, and inspiring. However, due to its many errors and its poor organization, I cannot justify a higher score.
It began with Huntley Drinkley
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