Sunday, June 20, 2010

"I Was Told There'd Be Cake" by Sloane Crosley

Summary: A collection of humorous essays by Crosley, a twenty-something writer who grew up in suburbia and now lives in New York City.

Musings:  I really enjoyed I Was Told There'd Be Cake, primarily because Crosley's experiences so closely mirror my own.  Truthfully, we're quite different--I would never ever live in NYC and I'm a married homeowner and teacher.  But nonetheless, the funniest moments of the book for me were shared moments.  Crosley is only a few years older than I, and I found so much similar in our experiences: our childhood in classic suburbia, our ambivalence about high school relationships, our nostalgia for the '80s even though we were really relatively young in that decade.

My favorite essay was "You On a Stick," about Crosley's experience as a bridesmaid for a former high school friend.  And although I operated on the opposite end (as the bride bringing back high school friends) just a few years ago, so many of the feelings echoed for me.  She captured the mood perfectly while also making it seem absurd.

I have a stereotype of young New Yorkers being arrogant and self-absorbed, and because of that, I feel disdain for most stories about NYC.  I imagine Crosley likes the city, but it's certainly not the focus of her story, and the city did not get in my way of enjoying the book.  I liked Crosley's recognition of her own stupidity and selfishness and her problems maintaining friendships--because they illuminated and ridiculed my own failings in those areas while assuring me I wasn't alone.

I Was Told There'd Be Cake is funny, light, and dead-on for those of us raised in a middle-class suburban life and trying to figure out where we belong today.

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