Friday, September 4, 2015

Book Review: She Got Up Off the Couch

My book club group selected Haven Kimmel's first memoir, A Girl Named Zippy for this month's reading choice. I was searching for another audio book to use while walking and happened upon Haven's second memoir, She Got Up Off the Couch: and Other Heroic Acts from Mooreland, Indiana. I knew at the outset that the book would be funny, because her first memoir was quite humorous (read it over ten years ago).

Although there was a level of sadness in the telling of this particular story (the story highlights the empowerment of her mother amid great familial dysfunction), the author manages to interject enough humor to keep the story lighthearted. This was typical Kimmel fare: stories of her disdain for shoes, her lack of personal hygiene, outlandish childhood perceptions, and sometimes irreverant commentary on religiousity. She tells of the many community individuals who helped to care for her (bathing her and feeding her), of the deep and abiding friendships she made, of the quirkiness of small town Indiana, and of her mother's decision to go back to school. The burgeoning independence of her mother provides a framework for some essays which are more about Zippy, really, than about the mother.

All in all, it was an entertaining memoir. I laughed while walking (which is probably easier than crying while walking). I think I would be willing to attempt one of her novels at some point. She is an excellent writer and knows how to vividly paint small town America.

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