Insightful and unusual love story.
The twelfth book from Governor General’s Award-winning author Diane Schoemperlen, This is Not My Life is a candid examination of one of the author’s less successful relationships. Often frustratingly relatable, This is Not My Life chronicles the stages of love between Diane and Shane from cute, flirty, and awash in butterflying stomachs all the way through rough, manipulative, and downright abusive. The couple meet while volunteering at a local Kingstonian soup kitchen called Vinnie’s, where the mantra Don’t judge. Don’t assume. is drilled into the heads of everyone washing dishes, peeling potatoes, or sorting through the basement full of donations. As Schoemperlen herself wonders, perhaps it was this mantra that let her put aside any misgivings she would normally have about beginning a relationship with Shane. Her apprehension might have been more pronounced: at the time of their meeting, Shane had already been in prison for 30 years for robbery and second-degree murder.
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I enjoyed this book, very candid, and thoughtful treatment of a love story.
Engrossing and thought-provoking - I couldn't put it down. I love how contemplative Schoemperlen is about the relationship, and I found some of the details were eerily reminiscent of some of my own past affairs (none with convicts, but perhaps in the end men are men and women are women?!). Her reflections and her honest approach took me right along with her through the whole doomed relationship. (Being from Kingston originally, I was also fascinated by some of the details of life in the city - of course prisons loomed large in the municipal consciousness before Harper closed most of them in that area.)
This non-fiction book is very well-written, it is actually very gripping. I go to Kingston regularly to visit family but I will never look at Kingston the same way again!
Diane Schoemperlen's love story goes through the ups and downs of any other doomed love story, except that she knows how to tell it, I was gripped through to the very end - one of the best memoirs I've ever read, second only to Anaïs Nin's Diaries
I have always liked this writer's fiction..but this is her best work yet.
Honest, frustrating, and heart-breaking, this book will leave its mark.
After finishing it in just a few readings, there is a better understanding of what led her into this relationship,and kept her returning .
And finally, how she got out.
Finding her Strength.
Really quite inspiring.
Very well written, and an excellent look into the Canadian prison system. Ms. Schoemperlen is so very forthright about her experience that it's a little unnerving. Even as the reader is shouting "Stop! Leave! Get away!", she keeps us intrigued and curious.
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