All Over Creation by Ruth Ozeki

Mike’s review

There was a time when the intersection of politics and literature would have been enough for me but not anymore. I wasn’t compelled through this even though a fair amount actually happens. Yummy didn’t feel especially fleshed out and I don’t know why. Would I like “My Year Of Meats” now like I did then? Who knows because I don’t have the desire nor ambition to re-read it.

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Let’s try a brief plot. Yummy (she must have a real name and I don’t remember where this one comes from) comes back to her Idaho (?) home when she finds out about her parents’ poor health. She ran away around high school time. She’s grown up now and has three (?) kids. Her return coincides with a van of activists coming to the farm because they think her dad is a pretty radical dude based on his take against GMOs. A teacher who she was intimate with in high school is somehow a PR guy for a GMO seed company…(?) and there’s a bunch of rehashed feelings there. Intimate, by the way, is the right word. She doesn’t (until later) consider it to have been anything illicit or predatory. There are demonstrations and forgiveness and stuff. That’s a lot to have remembered and there’s probably even more I forgot. Told you a lot happened in this book.

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When Yummy finally uses the word “rapist”…damn. That was a powerful moment. I think this might be part of why I wasn’t compelled. She didn’t seem to want to confront/deal with her tragedies, just let them keep happening to her. Which, ironically, is partially why finally using “rapist” was so strong a moment.

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Still damn near cried at the end though because father/mother stuff gets me (for some reason–hi mom and dad! yeah right.)

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