"I’m Looking Through You: Growing Up Haunted: A Memoir" by Jennifer Finney Boylan

I am Looking Through You Book Cover

“I’m Looking Through You: Growing Up Haunted: A Memoir” by Jennifer Finney Boylan
Publication Date: 2008
ISBN: 9780767921756
Number of Pages: 288

I’m Looking Through You: Growing Up Haunted is a memoir about growing up in a haunted house, and an exploration of what it means to be “haunted.”  It was published by Doubleday/Broadway in January 2008, and was released as a paperback in October of that same year. 

In this follow-up to She’s Not There, I tried to show how love, forgiveness, and humor help us find peace with our ghosts, with our loved ones, and with the uncanny boundaries, real and imagined, between men and women.

Source: Jennifer Finney Boylan’s Site

I don’t usually read memoirs, manly because I’m never sure how much I can trust what is being said – and I think I’ll save the rest of my comments on this subject for another post. Anyway, “I’m Looking Through You” was suggested to me while I was looking for books to read for the R.I.P challenge (because of the “hunted house” aspect), and it sounded interesting enough to read, and I knew I could included it as part of the GLBT challenge as well.

As I started reading the book I realized that it doesn’t fit the R.I.P challenge at all because the “hunting” has more do with with Jennifer (previously James) dealing with her own inner conflict while she was younger. She does talk about the ghosts that shared the house she lived in growing up but I think they were secondary to the main point of the book. She essentially spent her childhood (and some of her adult) life dealing with being a woman in a man’s body. The book bounces back and forth from the past to the present discussing specific events that occurred throughout her life – good and bad. I liked the way the book was structured and in this case the first person point of view went a long way to help me understand her and what she went through. I enjoyed reading about the various people in her life, her friends, her family and how they reacted to her.

And as for not usually reading memoirs – I’m glad I read this one. Whether or not I can “trust” a memoir isn’t really the point. The point is gaining an understanding of who a person is and hopefully learning something from their lives. And I feel like I learned something by reading this book.

If you need more of a review before reading “I’m Looking Through You”, Eva at A Striped Armchair wrote a longer and more detailed review, that I think does a good job of expanding on the things I mentioned here.

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2 Responses to "I’m Looking Through You: Growing Up Haunted: A Memoir" by Jennifer Finney Boylan

  1. Amanda says:

    I view memoirs as a mix of fiction and fact, so it doesn’t bother me that they’re unreliable. I can’t wait to read this one.

  2. Jen says:

    Yeah I figure they are supposed to be read that way, it’s calling them “non-fiction” that bugs me. It’s one of those personality things… *shrug* I don’t like the idea of reading something and finding out later that it wasn’t true at all – and it makes me wonder how many people read something and take it as completely true without ever realizing it’s not. And that’s another “thinking” blog post. :)

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