Year 8, Book 88

88. Teaching the Cat to Sit by Michelle Theall

In this memoir, Michelle Theall examines her relationship with God, the Catholic Church, and her mother in light of her homosexuality. As a 43 year old mother of a 4 year old boy in a committed relationship she struggles to balance the life she has built for herself with the Catholic Church that she loves but who doesn’t seem to want her or her family to be part of it as well as still trying to live up to the expectations of her overbearing mother. The chapters alternate between her childhood and the present day giving the reader insight into her upbringing and how it has informed the woman she is today. This book was wonderful. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Not only is at an interesting story  in its own right, the author is an amazing writer. Even when writing about the stuff of every day life she compels the story forward making the end of each chapter feel like almost a cliffhanger. Since the chapters alternate between the past and present the thread doesn’t pick back up until 2 chapters later, which is constantly pulling the reader forward. I could not put this book down. I give it a 9 out of 10.

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