Reading Challenge 2015 – A Memoir

Book Number Seven – Slow Motion by Dani Shapiro.


There are plenty of memoirs out there I could have picked in order to tick this one off the old Reading Challenge, but as something of a podcast nut (I listen to an awful lot) this one piqued my interest when I heard the woman herself perform an extract from it on the brilliant podcast ‘This American Life’

Slow Motion is about an event that struck Dani’s life and in doing so made her re-evaluate herself and the decisions she had been making. A beautiful young woman who became the mistress to her best friends, much older, stepfather, quit college to become an ‘actress’ and slowly became dependent on cocaine and scotch.

The thing that instantly struck me about this memoir was the style of writing, although being incredibly open and honest it was written in such a way that you could really relate to the sense of confusion Dani must have been feeling at that point in her life. Dani’s descriptions about times that are so incredibly bleak are beautifully written, despite the sometimes awkward and upsetting subject matter.

As the book progressed and Dani started to talk about how she slowly turned her life around, I began to feel somewhat disappointed. I felt that she had invested so much raw emotion into the book telling us about her life, the events that transpired, yet I don’t feel I was given enough information about the journey after she made the choice to stop drinking, doing drugs and making the decision to go back to college. The timescale seemed to jump around quite a bit, which affected the overall fluidity of the piece and made a somewhat hollow ending to an otherwise well written novel.

‘She’s wearing a pink flannel robe, and I want to be her. I want to have a life where robes and cats and mugs of tea are within the realm of possibility.’


Star Rating out of 5: 3

Happy reading fellow bookworms.