You Never Get It Back by Cara Blue Adams – I

You Never Get It Back by Cara Blue Adams – I

I have read the first four stories in this collection and my impression so far is that I’m very much in awe of Cara Blue Adams’ ability to make me feel I’m there and make me feel slightly nauseous about it at the same time.

People drift in and out of her protagonist Kate’s life: study mates, workmates, boyfriends, and a best friend who may have had her expiration date some time ago. Then her derelict mother and a sister who is smoking (a lot) while pregnant and has a not-too-convincing relationship with her child’s father, who also is off to the military, if I recall correctly.

Especially the first story is a punch in the gut – SPOILERS – because what is set up as an evening of decision for Kate about whether or not to break for good with her angry boyfriend, becomes something akin to tragedy when she lets another man take advantage of her. Or maybe she kind of wanted him to. And then again, maybe not. Therein lies the tragedy. Kate’s ability to be clear about what she wants and to set boundaries seems rather compromised.

It’s also what so far has kept me struggling a bit through the handful of stories. Again, I love how Adams is able to set the scene and make me feel I’m there. I wish I could write more like that. But Kate is a diffuse person to me, who seems to lack something vital, perhaps what we can call, for lack of a better word, drive? It is very convincing but also hard to read. I found myself more than once wanting to shout at her: ‘Make a decision about your boyfriend’ – ‘about your job’ – ‘about how to deal with your mother’.

But very realistic and powerful. Overall I am hooked and I am going to finish this one and then say something about the links between the stories and what they meant for my overall reading experience. In other words, how is my impression of that vital quality of Adams’ take on our favorite form? We shall see.

I hope to get the next installment up in a couple of days …

You Never Get It Back on Goodreads

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