Spoiler-Free Review: Unbecoming


“I’d like to go home now,’ she said softly. She hoped someone would show her the way.”

Author: Jenny Downham

Katie’s got one heck of a family tree. Grandma was a slut back in the day so no one knows who grandpa is, and now she has Alzheimers. Mom is an uptight b*^&# who’s controlling ways have destroyed her marriage. Now Katie is starting to think that she’s gay. . . great, life is great.

There are some parts of this book I like, the disorientation and time jumped memories when you are reading grandma’s POV are really well done. Mom is also a very believable level of messed up from her horrible childhood. This is a story about a family digging themselves out of emotional abuse and bad decisions. and I think it is very believable.

I don’t like any of these characters. Yet I liked this book. No one is a likable person, but you can understand them.

Grandma gave her daughter up for adoption, then years later, changed her mind. You F%^&ing jerk. This is not about you! You do not rip a child away from a safe loving home because YOU have regrets. You had your shot to make a home for that baby, and you choose to give her away.

I know there’s a whole thing about Grandma’s sister pushing her into giving up the baby, but it’s not like she had a plan! You’re an unwed teen mom in the 1950’s. Adoption really is the best option here. Hiding the baby is not a plan!

Mom is an uptight b&^$*. This is not the simple straight laced mom type. No, this is full on Mommy Dearest. I can only assume she got custody because of sexism in the courts. Caring for children is the “woman’s job” right? Yeah feminism!

Katie worries that she’s gay. I have no idea why this worries her. There’s no mention of her family being religious or any real reason that it would be taboo for her to come-out. Some random people are jerks about it sure, but welcome to planet earth where random people are jerks. I don’t see the problem.

Like I said there were parts of this book I liked. It’s got some good family drama here, but I couldn’t shake this idea that the book was saying the end result of all this emotional abuse and neglect is that your kids will be gay.

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