Reading Mary Karr’s Cherry was like reuniting with an old friend. Those who have read The Liar’s Club will recognize the voice and even the main characters (as they seem to be, even though every bit of the story is true). The situations themselves also feel familiar. No matter how “mundane” your childhood was, Karr brings you in and lets you live her wild stories with her.
Cherry chronicles a lot of firsts and the journeys they lead her on. We get to see exactly what she thought at the time but also how growing up has changed her perspective. For those who loved her first book, it is an epic continuation, which will not disappoint as it is told with the same warmth and humor. For those who have never read a Mary Karr book, it will bring you into her little world of Leechfield.
Every book she reads feeds into this sense of lostness and wandering. Her tone injects her stories with a level of suspense, even though it is obvious from the fact that she lived to write it all down that it turned out fine, in the end.
Overall, this book was a great comfort to me, feeling at one time both familiar and like a glimpse into another universe.
I for one am looking forward to reading her book The Art of Memoir, as she appears to have mastered that art by recalling every detail to transport readers to her very consciousness at the time and using such beautiful, poetic language to do it.
(Of course, I may be biased because I’ve had a celebrity crush on her since I met her in college.)
While I doubt I will ever be able to recall my childhood with the detail she has presented hers with, reading her book has encouraged me to give poetry and lyricism another shot. And as you well know, any work that encourages me to write is a paragon of glory in my book.