Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker

Dear Mr. YouDear Mr. You

by Mary-Louise Parker
Hardcover, 225 pg.

Scribner, 2015

Read: December 1, 2015

I’m not sure what I expected from this, but this wasn’t it. But whatever this was? It was a real treat to read.

I guess it’s basically, Alanis Morissette’s “Unsent” in book form. The book is a compilation of letters to a wide assortment of men in her life — or adjacent to it — some named, some nicknamed (“Blue”), some described (“Cab Driver”).

The style varies from letter to letter, a little bit, but on the whole the voice is consistent, it’s the content and audience that drives the mood. Seemingly very honest and candid, this carries all sorts of situation — the doctor who saved her life, the uncle of the girl she adopted, her grandfather, her daughter’s future significant other, a few former paramours, a few total strangers. The strongest material involves her immediate family — her father, her son, her daughter, especially her father.

Given Parker’s acting ability and the personal nature of this material, if she does the audiobook for this, I think it’d be more effective than the dead-tree version. But that’s just a guess.

Sure, not every letter is gold — a few bored me. But the majority kept me reading, entertaining me, making me chuckle, giving the occasional “aww” moment, and even jerking a few tears. Anyway you slice it, this lady can write.


3 Stars


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