I have been doing Memoir Monday for quite a few weeks now, but really I was just waiting for this book to come along. Jenny Lawson is another author that trusted me with Facebook friendship, and like Samantha Irby, I had not read her blog prior to becoming friends with her. I had read Furiously Happy, which at the time I only moderately enjoyed for the sole reason that I think I lacked context and background. Without understanding her relationship with Victor (her husband) and her struggles with pregnancy and anxiety, Furiously Happy seems funny in a momentary way. Having read this first book, I am motivated to return to the other. I am sure I will enjoy it much more than after the first reading.
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is the memoir that should inform all other memoirs. It explores her childhood in a realistic way that doesn’t wring its hands and cry out with struggle, but recognizes the handicaps that come with a rural, poor upbringing. Her relationship with Victor is a hilarious, opposites-attract love story. The journey from Wall to Houston, from HR to writing, her memoir is a true road map through her life to where she is now (or was when this book was published in 2012) and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Lawson writes in a stream-of-consciousness style that echoes how you might think about or approach any social situation. When she wrote about having two minds that talk to each other when she struggles with her anxiety, I was reminded of how my mind divides during depressive episodes; my logical mind knows what’s going on, but my emotional mind is behind the wheel and won’t let off the gas. Representation is important, and her openness in writing about her struggles with mental health makes many of her followers feel less alone, perhaps even braver to speak out about their own experiences.
This is hands down my favorite memoir thus far. It’s real, entertaining, and brings awareness to a struggle that many face – it serves multiple purposes and I am here for all of them. And now I know my new friend a little better than I did, and I love her all the more.
You are missing out if you do not read this book. Go get you some.