Friday, June 24, 2005

Aimee, by Mary Beth Miller

Aimee commits suicide, and her friend blames herself for helping her do it. So do Aimee's parents and the police. And once the trial is over, and the acquittal, and the court ordered restraint order from ever seeing her friends again, and her parents' move away, then the narrator has to come to terms with every horrifying element of what happened and how she'll ever recover from it.

If I've painted this story a bit bleakly, I've not managed to do it as bleakly as the author has. Aimee is an amazingly depressing read, a painfully depressing one. Not only are problems just piled up (suicide, abuse, drugs, etc etc), but you don't even realize until 20 pages before the end that you've never learned the narrator's name. She's so dehumanized, so lost, that even her name is gone.

I have a tremendous soft spot for stories about suicide (one of my favorite books when I was a teen was Ordinary People) and I of course have my own personal history. This book is a tremendous accomplishment, but it is a grueling experience to read. In some ways, I'll compare it to the movie Thirteen -- both really moved me, but I could never watch/read them again. In the end, I am very moved, but not uplifted. And in the end, I wanted (and needed) something to rescue me.

Is that a strange way of saying a book is good?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yea, I was just reading the book and all of a sudden this name appears that I hadn't seen in the story before. I'm like,"who's that?". I think it's pretty cool how the author pulled that off.