Book Review: The Sarah Book by Scott McClanahan

What can I do? I can go back and place all the pictures I have left of my life and I can put them together. I can put them together in a book and so when Sarah is old she can take the book and she will be able to see them again and remember.

What can I say about The Sarah Book by Scott McClanahan other than wow? I tend to get easily bored by anything vaguely non-fiction, but this one kept me captivated from the very first page. I was immediately hooked by the beautiful prose, which reads like a strange combination of stream of consciousness and poetry.

The Sarah Book is the profoundly heartbreaking semi-autobiographical story of an unraveling marriage and a man’s plunge into depression and self-destruction as he separates from his wife. Scott McClanahan touches on numerous themes of love and loss, but my personal favorite is his spotlight on the passage of time and the overwhelming sadness in changing and getting older.

If you don’t like crying while you read or that sickening existential sadness you might get from thinking too much about death, then don’t bother picking this one up. I cried so much the morning that I finished the book that I was still sniffling on my way to brunch twenty minutes later.

Rating: 5/5

Description: The Sarah Book is master storyteller Scott McClanahan’s portrait of new love, young heartbreak, the coming together of families, and families coming undone. As much as this book takes place in Appalachia, it also takes place in the universe. Its landscapes are the highways and basements and dirty rooms where we are eternally condemned and redeemed. McClanahan has written a love letter to divorce, in a language somewhere between Romantic poetry and a distilled mountain twang. The Sarah Book is an unforgettable tale told by one of today’s finest writers.

Author: Nicolette

Nicolette is a writer-of-things from the east coast who cries over happy things and drinks too much coffee.

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