Book Review : "Who Will Run The Frog Hospital?'
Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? by Lorrie Moore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Honestly, the first twenty pages bored me stiff. Then, though, it picked up and wormed its way into my heart. This is the story of two teenage girls, best friends, at a time (the early 70's) when I was at that point in life myself. The narrator's parents are, to be blunt, effed up, putting emphasis on the peripheral and missing what's really important in their rigid, closed-off way. By contrast, the girls--Berie and Sils--are wild and vulnerable at the same time. Wild mostly at heart, looking for Truth in pop songs, and depending on each other to be there at the center of each other's world.
I have read Lorrie Moore before, and she can be hilariously funny. I confess, I expected this book to be that way too, but it wasn't. Oh, there are funny moments, but this is really an elegy (as one blurb put it) to a lost time and place, and made my heart ache with it. Recommended, but I would add that you have to be in the mood for what this book is. If you go into it expecting it to be light-hearted, as i did, it won't be that--much as what we expect from life at fifteen always turns out to be something quite different. Having just turned the last page, I feel as if I have visited my own past.
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