Thursday, November 12, 2009

Guest Post- Debbie Mutford's Review of Runaway by Evelyn Lau

I have only one of two choices when reviewing Evelyn Lau’s Runaway: Diary of a Street Kid; I can either keep it quick and painless or vent for pages on end (don’t get me started...don’t even get me started).

I will make a few blanket statements, use quotes from the book to support my points, and gracefully back off.

Point 1: It’s hard to take the writing seriously when I believe (not fact, just my gut feeling) that Evelyn wrote the journals with the original intention of publishing it.
- Pg.53 “Maybe eventually I’ll make a living selling drugs, then write a bestseller about the whole thing and become rich and famous and live happily ever after
- Pg.212 “All I want to do is get my writing published
I just find it difficult to read a book of published journal entries with interest when I get the sense of there being an audience from the start rather than genuine self-expression.

Point 2: I don’t want to come across as unsympathetic but the yelling and, albeit extreme, approach to parenting didn’t come across as harsh as the homeless lifestyle of prostitution that Lau purposefully chose. She came across as ungrateful and melodramatic rather than abused (yes I recognize that those are the typical qualities accused of teenagers).
- Pg.221 (reference to a foster parent) “Now I’m left with the fear of coming home to Melanie’s each night, the fear that is no different from when I was living with my parents”.
This quote to me either implies that Melanie was abusive (which she never states) or that her parents were not (in which case I have no idea why she ran away to begin with).
Time and time again people tried to help her but she made erratic and selfish choices based on spontaneity rather than logic.

I could go on and on (and on and on) but I won’t. I will chalk it up to my own lack of understanding and inability to sympathize with the main character but for whatever reason, this book was just frustrating to read.

I am hoping others will read it. (Please?) I would like to hear some feedback if others found it equally as frustrating as I found it...or if I’m just an insensitive turd.

Sidenote: Lau has written and published several other books (poetry, short stories, and a novel). I will definitely look for some more of her writing in hopes that her writing is as talented as the journals describe. Maybe in another form, I will enjoy Lau’s work.

1 comment:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I haven't read this, but I have heard other people voice similar concerns about this book. So you are not alone in your feelings that these journals are contrived.