Wednesday, November 28, 2012

She, Myself and I by Whitney Gaskell - review

She, Myself and I
Whitney Gaskell
contemporary fiction

***** (5 out of 6)

cover - cute.  Definitely draws your eye, makes you want to read the blurb, which made me want to read the book.

I read She, Myself and I  a long time ago - months ago.  It was one of my palate cleanser books -  a book of a totally different genre that you read when you've been reading so many good UF books, that other UF books pale in comparison.   She, Myself and I was a pretty good book, also.

Three sisters have these parents - a set of parents who have put them through a divorce and all the ensuing dysfunction that occurs with growing up with divorcing parents.  These girls hate the way their parents have behaved over the years, and yet their parents have one last surprise for them.

The three sisters are each working through their childhood (or rather reacting from their childhood) in their own way.  This novel is told in three distinct points of view/voices.  There's Paige who is a divorce attorney, who has to have things JUST so.  Her marriage isn't quite what she planned, and her story - her growth is like a 180, or is it a 360?  Anyway the changes she goes through are  astounding, and much needed.  Sophie, middle daughter/sister, is hugely pregnant and giving everyone around her a hard time - and she's been eyeing all men as potential adulterous partners.  Does she follow through?  or not?  And finally, the youngest sister Mickey is working her dream job, even though her family expects her to go to medical school, she's not so sure about this path.  Mickey is also making the same mistakes that many other young women make when absolutely idolizing a man.

These three women almost completely mess up their lives - this is the story of their mistakes, hopes, dreams, angers, and how each of them come to terms with themselves and their parents.  

The parents - they've had their issues and after many years of strife and embarrassing and uncomfortable 'scenes' they have one more not so welcome surprise for their daughters.  I can definitely relate, being a child of divorced parents, myself.  Even married parents don't always act at their most mature around the kids when they're having issues.  Being human, and all. ;)

I love the distinct voice of each character and how the novel was split up into three distinct stories that tied together in the end.  I also appreciated very much (and related to) the  way each sister was treated by the other, how they all had their own perceptions of what was happening and how true to life their almost absolute failure to see the changes and growth in each other.  It was so like families, how we view each other and treat each other; even after years of  personal growth and change, sometimes your siblings are the very last to see the progress or changes that have been made.  It goes both ways - the way we're seen and the way we see/treat others.  I think that Gaskell did a very good job of spotlighting these family functions and dysfunctions; how we treat each other, fail to treat each other.  

She also showed some possibilities some families never get to acknowledge - that it is possible to break out of our sibling roles that we might have held for so long, sometimes just out sheer habit.  It's hard to break out of these familial roles - especially if family isn't ready to see that people have actually changed.

It was fun look at family, family dysfunctions, the love that exists regardless of the dysfunctions, and the roles we all play within the family, within the workplace and within our own circles - marriage, friends, etc.    I wouldn't mind seeing what else Gaskell has within her pages for us to read.


  1. Sometimes when there are three different perspectives it is nice to break up a story and maybe even easier to follow. This book sounds like a great palette cleanser :D

    1. I totally agree. What surprises me is when someone complains about having to read three pov's during the novel - complain about how confusing it is. It's great when done right (hell, all they have to do is note the character's voice at the beginning of the section, right?)

      Yes, it was a good palate cleanser - it's good when the cleanser is a good as the book they're 'cleansing', right?