Monday, August 17, 2015

Book 120: Out Came the Sun: Overcoming the legacy of mental illness, addiction, and suicide in my family by Mariel Hemingway (Audiobook) with Ben Greenman

Let me start by saying I accidentally borrowed this book from the library while I was trying to find books by Ernest Hemingway. Really, it wasn't half bad. Mariel's story offers insight on one of the America's most famous families.

I felt that Mariel Hemingway wrote a pretty decent book in Out Came the Sun, but the audio version - which the author read herself - was filled with mistakes. Whole sections of the audio book were obviously re-recorded, and I had a difficult time getting past her mispronunciations of words that were certainly not hers, but those of her editor. Mariel would have done well to hire a seasoned reader instead.

Thankfully, the story was an interesting one. Mariel Hemingway is the granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway, and although she never met him, her life was influenced by his legacy. Unfortunately, their family history was riddled with alcoholism, suicide, and mental health issues, and Mariel was all too aware of it from an early age. I found it fascinating that Mariel was almost like an outsider in her own family - seeing her parents and sisters as different from the norm - for better or for worse. Questioning their traditions, their choices, and their way of life.

To be fair, Mariel does say that she did not inherit her grandfather's talent for writing. At times, the book sort of stalled and sputtered. The momentum was sort of off. Still, her life story needed to be told, and as I said, it wasn't half bad.

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