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Monday, April 21, 2014

Flyover Lives by Diane Johnson

This is a rambling but enjoyable memoir that compares the lives of Johnson's ancestors with American lives today.  Johnson also looks into her background to discover why she left American and why so many Americans prefer to live in Europe.  Many Australians prefer to live in Europe as well, so I especially liked this part of the book.

I usually like history, but the lives of Johnson's ancestors were extremely miserable.  One had several children  who died of scarlet fever.  This part of the book was a bit hard to read, although Johnson's youth in the American Mid-West actually seemed a bit exotic to me. I could easily understand her longing to escape, however, and the dreadful feeling of being trapped in a dull, provincial place.

The last part of the book was more interesting, I thought.  Here, Johnson writes about how she met and worked with Sylvia Plath, her experiences with film scripts and finally finding contentment in marriage and moving to Europe.

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