Summer Reading: Chocolates for Breakfast (English)

October 20th, 2013

cfbWell into autumn as we are, I had one last Summer Reading choice on my plate.  Back in August, I mentioned the republishing of Pamela Moore’s mid-century novel about dissipated youth, Chocolates for Breakfast. AfterEllen.com discusses the author’s life and death and reprints the censored passages in which the main character thinks about her feelings for the  English teacher on which she has a crush. These passages are still not included in the text of the book as published, but Moore’s son discusses them in the afterword.

Despite those passages, perhaps because of them, I would not call this book a “lesbian” novel in any meaningful way. The crush is exactly that – a crush. It’s ephemeral, a fantasy of time and place, and lack of other stimulus.

However, in every way this book is something that should be read. In the same way we are asked to read The Great Gatsby or Catcher in the Rye, Chocolates for Breakfast stands as a piece of classic American literature, with insight to a time and place that was never quite real even when it was. For those of you still in school, being asked to read either of toese books, I’d suggest reading Chocolates for a unique subject for compare and contrast.

Trying to tell you what Chocolates is about is more challenging than you might expect. It’s a tale of dissipated privilege; the sex, drinking, and hopeless ennui than comes with having too much of everything and too little of anything with meaning. But don’t let that get in your way of enjoying it. ^_^ In fact, despite the fact that my childhood was nothing at all like Courtney’s, I was able to deeply sympathize with her disassociation and feelings of frustration at 15 that the adults around her were less mature than she. In many ways, we are all Courtney at some point, whether we were kids in the 00s or the 60s.

Ratings:

Overall – 8

My next “Summer reading” book will be Hild by Nicola Griffith. Feel free to read it as well and give your opinion in the comments! No deadline, I probably won’t get to it for a bit. ^_^

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