Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Review: Atlas of the Human Heart, by Ariel Gore

by Cherilyn David

Every life-movie has its soundtrack. ~Ariel Gore

I come away from Atlas of the Human Heart, with the same symptoms I am always left with after reading Ariel Gore. I want to trade in my sensible SUV, rearrange furniture, smash the fine china. Ariel’s words have always had a way of making me seek out a more chaotic, but driven day and that those days would be more appropriate and justified than any!

The self-described memoir slash novel, follows Ariel’s departure from high school at the age of sixteen, one year younger than my daughter, all over the world and back, covering just three years or so. Because her mother was crazy, she traveled alone. Ariel makes friends and enemies, good choices and bad and somehow continues to find food, shelter and money as something pulls her onward. A little true, a little false, like life, like people.

You have to make room for the fool in everyone. ~Hilda Effania

The act of reading this book, followed much the same path as Ariel in her travels. The beginning is good, but safe, a little edgy, but that acceptable edgy we experiment with now and then. As it carries on, her story and her spirit grow and change, surprising the reader with their own need to turn the page. Ariel’s voice is true and real. She’s not a slave to grammar or sentences and yet everything sounds just right. I have always called this type of writing conversational. I love it.

Ariel’s journey is that of a child and a mother. One girl, writing her own definitions of love with one heart and then two. Her words fill you with more and less, all at once.

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