A week after finishing Truth and Beauty, I’m still mulling it over. Something about this book really brought me down; I mean, other than the fact that it’s a really depressing memoir about someone plagued by terrible health problems for most of her life until eventually dying of a heroin overdose. What also saddens me about this is that it’s a story of this very important, decades-long friendship between two women who barely seem to like each other. They have so much animosity and competition and spite between them, it’s exhausting just reading it. The lack of affection sure makes the whole thing feel quite opportunistic. Bittersweet but hold the sweet, apparently.
It’s not fair to single out this book for its bleak portrayal of female friends who don’t actually like each other; I see it over and over and over. Is this really the norm, or is it just that supportive healthy friendships don’t make for compelling reading? I can only speak for myself but I’d be lost without my female friends (and sisters and in-laws and mom.) I’m not going to name names because that’s kind of weird and I’d forget someone but I have so many awesome women in my life; I know we can always count on each other and we only want the best for each other. Maybe that would make for a boring book, but it crappy friendships are interesting, may we always stay dull.