Book Review: Blue Suburbia by Laurie Lico Albanese

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Title: Blue Suburbia

Author: Laurie Lico Albanese

Genre: Memoir

Number of Pages: 224

Rating: B+

Recommended?: Yes

Blue Suburbia is a beautifully written told-in-verse account of Laurie Lico Albanese’s abusive childhood and how it affected her adult life. There isn’t a great deal of detail to the events in this book (I read it in less than an hour) and it moves very quickly, but the author’s spare prose was emotionally wrenching and effective. It was a very personal story and the author doesn’t hold back from talking about her own failings and the way she passed on some of the same toxic behaviors she learned from her parents.

Like in The Glass Castle, I thought the parents were let off the hook too much and I couldn’t believe she partially dedicated the book to them, because they were so horrible and their abuse permanently traumatized their children. She didn’t really give us much of a look into her parents’ good side either, she dedicated the book to her dad because he ‘taught her to endure.’ Um. ‘Teaching endurance’ is the weirdest euphemism for regularly beating the shit out of your kids with a belt I’ve ever heard. I have these kinds of issues with personal memoirs a lot, though, and I really liked the writing in this book and the way the author chose to tell her story.

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