She Got Up Off the Couch: And Other Heroic Acts from Mooreland, Indiana by Haven Kimmel
My friend Becca has been nagging me for ages to listen to this memoir, the follow-up to Kimmel's successful first memoir, A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana, and now that I've listened to it, I don't know how I've gone so long without it in my orbit.
Like Zippy, this is another compilation of stories from Zippy's childhood, focusing more on her home life, and the years that her mother Delonda got up off the couch, bought a VW van, lost 150 pounds, and went to college, later becoming a master's student and taking a job of her own, thus breaking away from her role as mother and child bride.
Zippy's stories are laugh out loud funny, poignant, charming, witty, inspiring, and local. I know the places she mentioned, the weather she describes, the characters she spotlights - she has truly written a love letter to growing up in Indiana.
This memoir doesn't feel as lighthearted as Zippy, and puts a shadow across what could be easily dismissed as an idyllic childhood - an ever more distant father, neglect at times at the hands of her mother's education, and the feeling that Zippy's imagination had to be truly borne out of the need to entertain herself, as no one else would do so.
I simply, absolutely adored this memoir. My day feels lonely without these stories to come home to.
Note: I listened to this audiobook, narrated by the author. Simply said, NO ONE ELSE could narrate this but Kimmel - her voice, her inflection, her warmth made this such a pleasure to read. I don't think I would have enjoyed this memoir nearly as much without her voice guiding me through it. This is definitely a "listen only" for me.
(link to Crucial Pop review)