So this is the other book that I read by a woman named Ariel Leve in the past week. This one I actually downloaded as an audio book, and enjoyed it that way primarily because Martha Plimpton read it aloud and I just love Martha Plimpton. In fact, I had to keep reminding myself that it was not Martha Plimpton’s autobiography that I was reading.
“I hate you. I love you. You’re a moron. I never said that. You’re the most important person in the world to me. I wish you were never born.”
Ariel Leve grew up with a…let’s say….unstable mother, and a father who lived in Thailand for most of her life. She ednured her mother’s insane mood swings, from clinginess to physical violence to total isolation. The book alternates between her years as a child, her years as a young adult trying to recover from her time with her mother, and her years more recently, living with her partner Marco and his two daughters in Bali. A lot of the book comes off as therapy, discussing how her mother basically gaslighting her throughout her childhood affected her as an adult and how she’s worked come back from that. It struck a bit of a personal note for me right now, so I may have enjoyed it more than other people, but it’s a beautifully written book and a very sad story for sure.