She Got Up Off the Couch: And Other Heroic Acts from Mooreland,
Free Press, 2005 (2005)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch
his memoir is a follow-up to
A Girl Named Zippy
, in which Haven Kimmel chronicled her childhood and family life growing up in Mooreland, Indiana.
his second volume, with all its humor and pathos, is no less triumphant. Like the first book, this is a series of interrelated stories from Kimmel's childhood. She writes about being forced to go to church camp, about a never dwindling laundry pile, the brother she idolized, and - my personal favorite - a chapter entitled '
A Short List of Records My Father Threatened to Break Over My Head If I Played Them One More Time.
' The next chapter, short and sweet, is called, '
A Short List of Records That Vanished from My Collection.
nterlaced through the other stories, the book functions mostly as a tribute to the author's mother, Delonda, who finally '
got up off the couch,
' lost a hundred pounds ('
Mother always said she was a size 7 woman she kept wrapped in fat to prevent bruising.
'), learned to drive, finished her college degree and got a teaching job.
he book is very funny but beneath the surface, the reader can detect a layer of pain, especially concerning Kimmel's relationship with her father and his eventual departure from their lives. Haven Kimmel has a unique voice and a gift for turning the mundane into fascinating reading.
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