Monday, April 13, 2015

I Don't Have a Happy Place: Cheerful Stories of Despondency and Gloom Kim Korson

Kim Korson - Gallery Books - 2015

I Don't Have a Happy Place is a collection of autobiographical stories of what life was like growing up in a non religious, Jewish family in the 1970's in Montreal.

After reading the first story about Kim as a child, vacationing with her rich friend's family and the friend's babysitter Pauline drowned, I wasn't sure what to expect with the rest of the collection.  It was a bit unsettling, one minute I'm chuckling as I read and then wham the babysitter is being pulled out of the water and dead.

The other stories which I read over a period of a few weeks were more easily imagined, stories about summer escapades, being a "latchkey kid", difficulties making friends as a child, career, pregnancy, and even a story about her Nana.

Although as an adult Kim, was diagnosed with a low grade form of chronic depression, I'm guessing Kim got her downer personality, at least in part, from her feminist, mother whocomes across as opinionated and who Kim described as "crabby".  I'm not sure who left a more lasting impression on me, Kim or her mother.

I loved the catchy title and, I admit it was fun to read in small doses. A little dry wit and snark goes a long way with me. I think much of what she writes about will be most appreciated by readers in their late 40's or older who will be able to relate to the nostalgia of days gone by.

4/5 stars

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