Wednesday, February 08, 2012

It's My F---ing Birthday

By Merrill Markoe

Told in first person by the unnamed narrator who writes a sort of memorandum to herself about the events of the past year, starting with her 36th birthday and concluding with her 42nd. In the first chapter, she writes that she is still grieving over her break-up a year ago with long-time boyfriend Carl. Oddly, Carl sends her a huge bouquet of flowers with a card signed only, "Happy Birthday Carl" with no punctuation between birthday and Carl. She doesn't know what to make of this and it just brings out her bad feelings again. Meanwhile, her parents are there to take her out for her annual birthday dinner, an event she doesn't like and dreads every year. Her relationship with her parents is rather rocky: her mother constantly criticizes her and her father is a conceited bore and a bully.
She concludes each chapter with a review of what she learned that year and also what she hopes to learn and in the first chapter she claims she wants to learn more about quantum physics but by the last chapter she gives up on quantum physics with a quote from Richard Feynman: "I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics."

I enjoyed this book although I found it hard to understand the main character's reluctance to stand up to her emotionally abusive parents. I should think that by the time one is 36, one would be able to tell the parents where to get off.
So the main character is a bit of a pushover but despite that, her story was interesting and a little bit amusing and, while not a real engrossing book, still made for a pretty good read.

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