First Tuesday Book Club; My two cents on Me and Mr Booker

A book with a cover that evoked The Virgin Suicides as much as this one intrigued me as soon as I saw it. Though I started it when I should’ve been doing something else, I wasn’t motivated to pick up Me and Mr Booker again (due to a packed reading schedule) until it was coming on the ABC’s First Tuesday Book Club. (A quote from the hilarious and loveable Benjamin Law on the front cover helped as well.)

A book centered around a 16 year-old who has a relationship with a 34 year-old, this is a slightly eerie but ultimately fascinating coming of age story. With an undercurrent of commentary on the social backwater of small-town Australia, I was drawn to continue reading about the headstrong Martha and the enigmatic Booker’s by the promise of everything going wrong, as you just know it will, or must. These terribly sad characters in many ways are fascinating to observe in very different and intriguing ways. You want to slap Martha’s father (repeatedly, and often), shake her mother and occasionally cast disappointed looks at her brother. But through it all Martha’s voice is strong, brutally honest and darkly, laughably, comic all of which keeps you reading. Martha does, at times, do almost too good of a job convincing you she’s mature for her age, but there’s no reason that the Martha writing the book is still 16, though it’s easy to assume. Her deadpan and the promise of Drama and Fallout are the great motivators to get to the end. It seems almost politically incorrect to say you actually liked a book about an illegal, adulterous relationship but its not going to stop me saying that I really did. It even almost lived up to its cover.  $29.95

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