What We’re Reading: She’s Come Undone

Title: She’s Come Undone

Author: Wally Lamb

Genre: fiction

Why did you choose to read this book?

She’s Come Undone has been on my to-read list and I saw it on the library’s display of books for Mental Health Awareness Month (May).

What did you like about it?

I thought it was well-written and a compelling portrait of a fictional character, Dolores Price. The novel is told from her perspective and follows her through her 30s.

Dolores Price’s story picks up with her as a little girl whose parents’ relationship is less than ideal. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but suffice to say that mental health issues provide a backdrop for the plot and character development. Hers is not an easy life nor is it easy to read some of the parts of the book, which features divorce, infidelity, sexual violence, self-harm, bullying and a host of other unpleasant experiences.

The story is told from Dolores’s perspective. At times during the book, I did not like Dolores. She makes some bad decisions and is not always nice to other people. However, she is not always treated well herself: she is subjected to neglect or violence and does not always have a stable home life as a child. Ultimately, I ended up pulling for Dolores to find satisfaction, peace and rewarding relationships with other people.

Was there anything noteworthy about the book?

It was the December 1996 Oprah’s Book Club selection.

What feeling did the book leave you with?

A mix of joy, hope and sadness.

Who would you recommend the book to?

This is a hard question to answer! I thought it was a very good book, but, looking at readers’ reviews on Goodreads, I can see many people hated the book! So, I’ll be careful about recommending it.

Having said that, I would be interested to talk to other people who have read the book. Feel free to check it out!

What would you pair this book with?

I would pair this book with turning off the TV and walking to the grocery store to pick up some food that’s actually good for you.

About Stephen Brooks

Stephen is a reference librarian at Durham Tech. He has blogged previously at acqweb.org and for American Libraries magazine online. He enjoys reading 20th and 21st century literature, biographies and books about sports.