With great trepidation I've begun reading Tori Murden McClure's Pearl In A Storm. As I said before, I know Tori. She's my husband's boss. They meet, dine, converse by phone, and laugh together regularly. I've heard many of the stories in this book through the husband, or directly from Tori. She also saw me at my most vulnerable (quite by accident) when innocently visiting me post-delivery in the maternity ward only to find me spaced out on Morphine sans baby, muttering unintelligibly about my newborn son being in the NICU with my sobbing husband. (Side note: she left my room, dashed to a bookstore, and bought a stack of Dr. Seuss along with The Little Engine That Could so that my husband could read to Toby in his incubator. She's a kind and wise soul. ) She's also a graduate of the MFA program I'm about to begin AND the pres of the university. While I doubt she'll get wind of my blog, and I doubt she cares what I write (so long as it's fair, well-written, and not chock full of expletives), I still hesitate to comment.
Knowing Tori's incredible knack for detail and professionalism, I'm not surprised at the amount of description she gives to her coffin-sized, self-made boat. Some of the detail is necessary; I'm not a rower or a sailor and am given to whining during any form of minor exertion, so her explanation of the desalination process is useful. It's also not the most interesting read. What I find most interesting and painful (and interesting because it's painful) are the passages where she paddles back into her childhood, especially her relationship with brother, Lamar. I hope there is more of this inner musing to come because it creates a rich context for her powerful determination.
My only other response thus far is this: I'm a Louisvillian and we Louivillians all know each other, so I wish she had not name-dropped so much. This, I'm quite certain, was completely unselfconscious on the author's part. But other memoirs that I've read tend to mention friends by first name only, and only if they play a recurring role. Tori has full names of Louisville celebs, one after another. They are her friends. Really, all I needed to know was that: they are her friends (maybe even in the acknowledgements). See, I feel like I'm being nit-picky and worry that I'll offend.
Maybe I'll go pull Reynold's Price off the shelf.