I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness — A Review

I love to read, I love to write and I love to write about reading. What I’m not very good at is intense analysis. If you’ve read any of my book reviews you know I don’t go hard into metaphor, meaning and symbolism. I just read for the story/escape and I like what I like without too much digging.

That’s all to say if I was more analytical this review would read very differently because I am sure there are layers to it that I didn’t even recognise let alone absorb to explain. It’s that kind of very well written book — a book which reminds me that I am very much in the commercial women’s fiction realm although sometimes I like to step out and read proper literary fiction like this.

I spent a lot of time googling/fact finding because this a tricky novel written by Claire Vaye Watkins about an author named Claire Vaye Watkins. Her real father (and the character’s father in the book) was Paul Watkins, Charles Manson’s right-hand man, and she really did emerge from the Mojave Desert and publish a short story collection.

The novel/bit of memoir is about depression, a post partum depression that is so real you can almost feel it kicking you from the inside. It is about a mother who is so taken aback and stunned by her new role, she doesn’t even want it. It’s about deep trauma that runs through families, the horror of the opioid epidemic and the crumbling American empire. It is searing and strong and very very sad. But I would recommend you read it anyway

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