Monday, October 09, 2006

A Girl Named Zippy and She Got Up Off The Couch

by Haven Kimmel
I'm not usually a big memoir reader, but I loved these two. Kimmel writes about childhood truthfully, without a trace of cutesyness or melodrama. She captures the voice of her younger self perfectly, while letting us read between the lines, seeing things that Zippy's little girl and Couch's adolescent weren't yet ready to see. Like all families, Kimmel's is strange, and Zippy, of course, has no idea. As she grows, she starts to wonder some things, like why her mother never leaves the couch, what, exactly, her dad does for a living, and why her friends' parents often offer her a bath. The second book, She Got Up Off the Couch, moves into deeper, darker territory (as adolescence often does), while still often being laugh-out-loud funny. What happens when Zippy's couch-bound mother decides it's time to get up and go to college? Will the family survive?

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