Do you ever read a book and then feel like you can’t decide HOW you felt about it? That’s how I feel about American Gypsy.
The cover looked cool and we were low on books so I dropped it into my library bag. The book, it’s maybe not as cool as the cover. Or maybe it is? See… I can’t decide.
It’s a memoir and it has photos, which is always a plus when you’re reading a memoir (if you ask me.) Oksana is interesting, as is her entire family. But that’s where it gets mushy for me. She’s a Roma… a Gypsy… and there were all sorts of stereotypes and discriminatory practices against Gypsies in the USSR (when there was still a USSR) but Oksana doesn’t do a lot to clear up the stereotypes. Or she makes it clear that she is uncomfortable BEING a Gypsy and that bothers me.
I guess it would be hard not to be uncomfortable with who you are, when you’ve been raised with so much discrimination …and there I go, back to liking the book again because that helps make sense of Oksana’s feelings about her family.
See, it’s a difficult book. I think I liked Oksana’s dysfunctional family more than she did – but I didn’t have to live with them, did I?