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Cannonball Read IV: She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb

By hellokatieo | Books | December 17, 2012 |

By hellokatieo | Books | December 17, 2012 |

(hellokatieo is one of over 20 people who have completed a Full Cannonball during Cannonball Read IV, or who are pretty damn close at this point. Later this week, we’ll have reviews from two participants who each read and reviewed a DOUBLE Cannonball of 104 books. Jealous? Consider Cannonball Read 5! Registration isn’t open yet, but you can subscribe to the blog and get updates on that and more. Don’t miss out! — mswas)

She’s Come Undone is one of my all time favorite novels. I’ve read it twice a year for as long as I can remember, and I can conjure up the distinctive artwork of my paperback copy in my mind without ever closing my eyes. Much like I Know This Much is True, I can’t figure out exactly what it is about this book that has brought me back over and over again.

There’s really only two possible answers. The first is Dolores Price, the main character of the book. We follow Dolores from childhood through a tumultuous adulthood. The book skips through time, highlighting the critical times of her life. Her fast friendship with her childhood waken. Her sexual awakening. Her violent rape by her mother’s illicit lover. Her rapid weight gain and she struggles to forget the rape. Her seven year stint in a mental institution. Her marriage, and its rapid dissolution over her forced abortion.

It’s almost like a series of short stories and each one will break your heart. Dolores just feels real. Even as she descends into mental illness and engages in behavior that seems terrifying, and self destructive - it’s not over the top. At all times, you have a 100% understanding of why she’s doing what she’s doing. When she stalks her former college roommate’s ex-boyfriend and then marries him, it just feels right. It’s what she would do.

And the other possible answer is Wally Lamb himself. His writing is unbelievable. I’ve read each of his books at least 10 times and I can’t stand waiting for the next. His characters feel like your friends and neighbors, or like they’re just a part of you. They struggle and they try to overcome their personal demons but ultimately, they are human.

Anyway, I decided to re-read this for my 52nd book because it’s probably my favorite book. And I have officially completed the Cannonball! I’m going to keep reading and reviewing but I’m happy I hit my goal so early in the year.

For more of hellokatieo’s reviews, check out her blog, Book It.

This review is part of the volunteer Cannonball Read IV. Read all about it.

(Note: Any revenue generated from purchases made through the affiliate links in this review will be donated in entirety to the American Cancer Society.)