I feel like a bad reviewer. I won’t be able to do a good job with this book because it really didn’t capture my attention much and I had difficulty convincing myself to finish it. It is a very long book and I don’t know if the subject matter really required so many pages. But biographies, I know, usually tend to get extensive and exhaustive (exhausting?).
The main fault of my reading was the fact that I never knew Flannery O’Connor before this book. I never read her own writing before I became interested in her life, after the review of Brad Gooch’s biography in the New York Times. That can be a problem because the long passages discussing the relation between life events and story ideas had a big yawn effect on me.
I thought that would be an interesting read: a person condemned by a horrible disease (lupus), a woman who never married, lived with her mother for all her life, an author who maintained the look of a proper southern lady, while writing books that expressing ideas which couldn’t in any way make tea party conversation, obsessed with peacocks, reclusive, appearing strange to the rest of the world, a sort of Emily Dickinson reenactment.
The book thought doesn’t get deep into the workings of her mind or soul. It’s just a journal of her school years and her few adult friendships. As a reader, I didn’t feel close or connected to the main character and that made the book a very difficult read. I’m just happy I managed to finish it and now I can move on to other (better) things.