I’ve done a terrible job of updating my reviews in the last few months, but I had to break my silence to review Knock Knock: A Life by Suzanne McNear. What a surprisingly delightful book! I received a copy from the publisher and, admittedly it did take me a while to really get into the story. The book is described as a “fictional memoir” but it didn’t read like a memoir to me. It was actually quite stylized and reminded me of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. It sort of meandered from one moment to the next and the lack of quotation marks was at first difficult to adjust to but later helped the narrative to flow unencumbered.
Once I got into the story I couldn’t put it down. It’s beautifully written; in fact it’s quite lyrical. The story is that of March, who begins life as a rather unhappy soul and descends into a downward spiral of depression and hopelessness. Eventually she slowly begins to come out and find her way in the world.
There did come a point where I worried that the story would go so deep into this woman’s troubled mind, that I would somehow lose the empathy I had for her, or perhaps the belief I had that her struggles mirrored many other woman living in the same time period. But the author pulled her out, slowly and realistically, and in the end, while her life wasn’t perfect, March indeed had a story that was worth sharing.
I highly recommend this book and hope to convince several of my friends to read it, as the constant literary references and unique story should lead to many interesting discussions.