I’ve finished my first read of 2019.
It only took me five months – I was reading it on and off for a few months before that, too.
But that doesn’t influence what I thought of the book. Because I was focusing loads more on writing, rather than reading. So, here’s what I thought of Wrecked, by Charlotte Roche.
Prior to reading Wrecked, I was already familiar with Roche’s writing style, having previously read her – in my opinion, cult classic – novel, Wetlands. Wetlands was more of a shocker, in that it’s the first book I’d ever read that spoke about real shit, such as shaving around the anus. Perhaps it was more shocking because I was around ten years younger. But, I digress. Wetlands was less on the sexual side in comparison, and spoke more of mental struggles, and struggles surrounding family life: both as a daughter and as a mother. Uber appealing for women, then.
Elizabeth, the protagonist, though much more experienced in the life department in comparison to the seemingly little girl featured in Wetlands, gives the impression of having never really grown up.
Well – at least she sorted herself out with a therapist.
Roche utilises time and flashbacks in an apparently effortless way, so that the reader is ‘one’ with Elizabeth. We feel her anxiety, as if we’re stuck in the elevator shaft with her. We feel the frustration at having to share women in a marriage, without knowing what it’s like to have your husband let you do the same with a man. We are transported back to a car crash, to Elizabeth’s mother’s hospital bed. We’re shown the significant bits and are left to piece together the rest alone: brilliant penmanship, as this alone runs parallel against the workings of Elizabeth’s mind.
My only complaint about the book is the sudden ending, but which leaves us thirsty for more. I still wonder if Elizabeth played out her intentions.
This is a raw read, with a perfectly mastered voice. It demonstrates how the mind can fail us and how the mind can keep us afloat. Don’t get me wrong: it’s not mushy. Nothing like a chick flick. No dramas, marital disputes or mother-in-law issues. Nothing like that at all.
Roche is a force to be reckoned with. If you can get to grips with her works, you will fall in love with her characters, despite them never really loving themselves. But life isn’t a fairytale, is it, and I think that’s the point.