Title: You Think It, I’ll Say It
Author: Curtis Sittenfeld
Publisher: Random House 2018
Genre: Short Stories
Rating: 3/5 stars
Reading Challenges: Library Love
A suburban mother of two fantasizes about the downfall of an old friend whose wholesome lifestyle empire may or may not be built on a lie. A high-powered lawyer honeymooning with her husband is caught off guard by the appearance of the girl who tormented her in high school. A shy Ivy League student learns the truth about a classmate’s seemingly enviable life.
Curtis Sittenfeld has established a reputation as a sharp chronicler of the modern age who humanizes her subjects even as she skewers them. Now, with this first collection of short fiction, her “astonishing gift for creating characters that take up residence in readers’ heads” (The Washington Post) is showcased like never before. Throughout the ten stories in You Think It, I’ll Say It, Sittenfeld upends assumptions about class, relationships, and gender roles in a nation that feels both adrift and viscerally divided.
This is the Girly Book Club selection for August and it was a dud for me. I finished this collection of short stories a while ago, but had to sit with my thoughts to really understand my problems with them. My initial reaction was: Human beings are trash. After thinking more about it, I am going to stick to that statement. Diving deeper, I was left with a very depressed cynical view of humanity after every single story. I don’t need “happily ever after” stories, but these seemed so incredibly pessimistic about life and relationships. I thought that “Gender Studies”, “Bad Latch”, and “The Prairie Wife” were very interesting stories, but my goodness they were bleak. Once I thought about the stories even more, I realized that almost all of the characters featured were upper middle class and white. There was so much privilege inherent in all their lives. I think I might be over stories that focus on this demographic (full disclosure: I am part of these demographic). I am wanted to read about a variety of stories and situations. I don’t think I will have very charitable things to say about these stories at book club. But I have to admit that these stories are very well written.
Next up on the TBR pile: