“Told almost entirely through lyrical fragments and beautifully-observed scenes, Alexandra Naughton’s American Mary is the latest incarnation of the Great American Novella, at once unsettling and moving.”
–Michael Kimball, author of Us
American Mary, a review by Christine No
American Mary is not a typical contemporary navel gazer drowning in it's own ennui. This book is a "delight" and a "surprise" in that the narrator totes her Truth as a sometimes burden, sometimes salvation, always maneuvering the in-between, often laid bare at your feet. Passages made me feel things that I haven't felt in a long time - a very deep down specific aching, longing, confusion, loss that we normalize and tuck away in order to forget. The book carries the weight of a lonely heart and open arms - naked, hopeful, painfully and embarrassingly honest at times - in a way only the brave can, a way only a brave (tough as f***) woman can.
Naughton's language is spot on and conversational without compromising the beauty of the word, the line, the passage. It is lyrical. It is confessional. No plastic flowers, no pandering or cliche musings, Naughton writes with an authenticity that is naked, honest, embarrassing and painful. This is what it feels like to have a heart that beats. One that hurts like hell and refuses to back down. Naughton is obviously a lover::fighter::toughbitch::poet - writing down her naked to articulate our Truth.
If you've ever been a 20-something, you should read this.
If you've ever loved or longed, wanted or lost, you should read this.
If you have a daughter, you should read this.
If you wander, you should read this.
If you are a woman, you should read this.
If you are a man, you should read this.
If you've ever smoked cigarettes on a fire escape, you should read this.
If you've ever spent time in love on a twin bed, you should read this.
If you are a Lover::Fighter - you've found a kindred in American Mary.'