Have you ever had a thing that’s so much yours that you’re prickly about it? A hobby that you’re into so much more than just casually that you can’t listen to other people discuss it casually? Something you feel protective of, defensive about, proprietary toward? That you can’t discuss with (almost) anyone else because they will not be on the same level as you and that’ll make you feel weird? And you feel almost angry if you hear someone else talking about like it’s theirs to talk about, because it’s yours?
It’s a unique experience. I’ve felt that way about a handful of things over the years. This book is now one of them. So you can imagine that writing a review of it is difficult. I struggle to recommend it to anyone because it would feel like letting them unzip my skull and go in with spelunking gear. It feels way too intimate. It also feels like if someone did read it, we could skip several steps in our getting-to-know yous because they would essentially already know me.
Another way this book feels: like I wrote down my own autobiography in agonizing detail, cut out every sentence, put them in a mixing bowl, stirred them up, laid them out and rearranged them to make a coherent narrative. It’s the uncanny valley of my life. Would you want someone to read an alternate reality version of your life? If so, who would you pick to read it?
So, to put it mildly, this is my new favorite book, effortlessly overtaking 27 years of reading material. It’s about a lesbian in 1990s Portland who has an encounter with a cis guy, gets pregnant, and has a baby. A decade or so later, her daughter has questions. I think this book will continue to be important to me for the rest of my life.