Monday, August 20, 2012

Bumbling Into Body Hair - A Review

Title: Bumbling into Body Hair: A Transsexual's Memoir
Author: Everett Maroon
Release Date: March 15, 2012
Format/Page Count: Kindle/250
Publisher: Booktrope Editions
Purchased: AMAZON
A comical memoir about a klutz's sex change, Bumbling into Body Hair shows how a sense of humor - and true love - can triumph over hair disasters, resurrected breasts, and even the most crippling self-doubt. (From GOODREADS)

Expectation: This is another 'found it on Twitter' book. (-: I actually found Everett Maroon on Twitter. I had a good sense of his voice from his tweets. I guess I just knew I would like his writing. Call it a hunch. High expectation for this book.

“I was Jenifer, and now I’m Everett,” I said. I stifled the urge to say, “Ta da!” ~ Everett Maroon, Bumbling into Body Hair

Every once in a while, a book will come along that has it all. The story is engaging and poignant and the writing is beautiful and the writer’s sense of humour is the icing on the cake. Bumbling into Body Hair is one of those books. From page one, I was fully engaged. Maroon’s wonderful sense of humour came through as strongly as his beautiful, lyrical prose.

A memoir, Bumbling into Body Hair is the story of Everett’s transition from Jenifer. But it’s so much more than that. It’s a story of family, work environments, friendships—lost and won, acceptance and letting go…and the myriad of emotions and struggles that come with each one of these things. It’s a human story—a story of strength and fear, courage and challenge. And love.

We all want to belong. We all want to be stable and emotionally happy. And we hope our family and friends want the same things for us that we ourselves want. Maroon showed us what happens when these things don’t align and when they do. Seeing his family adapt to Everett was touching and at times deeply poignant. I loved that he allowed us in to witness the way his mother tried so hard to make Everett know she was proud of him and loved him. There were no walls of protection between Everett, his family and friends and the reader. We were allowed to see the good, the bad and the ugly. And even the ugly was delivered with the same finesse and wonderful sense of humour as the rest of the story. This made the punches slightly less painful, in some way, but no less poignant.

Reading about Everett’s milestones throughout the process was wonderful. As a reader, I was ecstatic when Robyn came into Everett’s life. I believe the right people show up at the right time. This was never truer than when Everett came across this angel of a therapist who basically showed him how to blossom and be himself. The little moments when co-workers and family showed him small kindnesses that pretty much brought me to tears were so heart-warming. “I left for lunch and walked back to my office barely twenty minutes later. Fatima had changed the name plate outside my door to read Everett Maroon. Touched by the thought, I also liked how it looked and put my hand on the sign as if Fatima would sense me thanking her from the other building.” Moments like that make this story SO worth the read.

This is not a story without villains (see ‘the ugly’ mentioned above). My anger was palpable when Everett explained some of the scenes he had with his ex, Pat. I kept waiting for even a small clue that there was some redeeming quality to this bully of a person…but I never did see it. Perhaps what redeemed him in the end was that Everett was able to wash his hands of him. As a reader, I was HAPPY to see him go. Without his exit, we would not have seen Everett's relationship with the lovely Susanne...the girl he would eventually marry. And Jeffrey. I still find myself hoping that he eventually came around. The dynamic Everett shared with him seemed real, palpable. That it ended badly seemed like such a waste of a valuable friendship to me. Jeffrey’s stubbornness in the situation was infuriating. To hold Everett accountable at such a huge turning-point moment in his life was unacceptable to me. I kept hoping he would come to his senses.

Every large transition a person goes through is bound to have supporters and naysayers. This look into the transition of Jenifer into Everett, and the life-story in which it is enshrouded, is such a lovely one. The reader had the opportunity to see Everett grow into the person he somehow always knew he was, while at the same time coming into his own in the business world and finding a woman to love along the way. This was Everett’s story, but it could have been anyone’s. We all have families, co-workers, friends. Some—well, we know we can only count on them for so much. While others—they’re in for the long haul. They only want what everybody should want—for their loved ones to find happiness. This was an exquisite story (exquisitely written) of one man and his slightly hilarious, often poignant road to happiness.

Expectation: This SO exceeded my expectations. I expected a funny read and a touching one...but not such a deep experience. The prose in this book was beautiful. Maroon has a wonderful voice and I hope to one day see it dabble in fiction. (-: Go and get this book now! I guarantee you will love it!

Size: 5 (1/2)

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