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Manuscript Monday: She’s Come Undone

On this weeks Manuscript Monday Lindsay recommends She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb.

It’s funny how you remember books years later after you’ve read it. Some books I forget everything, some I remember a few key details. But there are some that are stuck somewhere in my mind - in a specific time and place that when I think of them I am transported back to who and where I was those many years ago when I held that book in my hand.


She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb is one of those books. I was 23 and had finished my undergrad degree the year before. I wanted to see the world, so I hopped on a plane to London England with a Working Holiday Visa and just enough money that they would let me into the country. I found a hostel and wandered around the big city, unsure if I wanted to stay.


There I met a girl. I can’t remember her name, but I can picture her clearly - brunette, around my height, pale skinned, petite frame, and a multi coloured shawl around her shoulders. We explored London together and she told me about this book she’d read many times. She loved it so much she brought two copies traveling - one to re-read and one to give away to someone to inspire them. Then she handed me her second copy. I was honoured and carried it with me when I left London to explore southern England.


I think She’s Come Undone was an Oprah’s Book Club pick at the time, so I was excited to read it. And as I went through the pages I kept thinking that it must get better. It was a coming-of-age story about a girl growing up. But all I remember is how difficult her life was and how everything just got worse and worse for her. So many bad things happened to her. I kept reading, because this was that girl’s favourite book and it must get better. And then it got worse again, and again, and again. It was agonizing. And then, at the end, all I remember is the main character walked into the water. And that was it!


Every time I think of She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb I am transported back to being 23, sitting on the beach in Brighton, the smell of salt from the ocean, the rocks under my bum, and the book in my hand. Not a bad place to be transported to.


But no, I don’t recommend the book. I don’t remember what I did with it, but I definitely did not read it again.

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