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review
Laughterhp
All Fours | Miranda July
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Bailedbailed

Life is too short to read this book. 😆 It feels like just watching a train wreck and I have way too many other books to read!

#camplitsy24 - read 59 pages.

sherrisilvera I hope your pup is ok!! 18h
squirrelbrain That seems to be the cut-off point for a few readers! 16h
dabbe #hailthebail! 🤩🤩🤩 Hope the pup's doing okay, too! 🖤🐾🖤 15h
Megabooks Oh no! The cone of shame! Sorry the book didn‘t work for you. 12h
38 likes4 comments
review
Meshell1313
Bear: A Novel | Julia Phillips
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Pickpick

Another great #camplitsy24 pick that I would not have read on my own. Two sisters trying to better their lives while feeling stuck on their island and taking care of their sick mother. Then a bear shows up. You can kind of guess where it‘s going but I still was enthralled and entertained. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

BarbaraBB Glad you loved it. I am reading it right now. 18h
AmyG I just started this and am really enjoying it. Happy to read your high praise! 18h
Megabooks Yay! Glad you loved it! 18h
squirrelbrain Hooray - that sounds promising! 16h
Clare-Dragonfly Sounds like the fairy tale Rose-White and Rose-Red! Are there similarities beyond the sisters and mother struggling and then a bear shows up? 11h
37 likes2 stack adds5 comments
blurb
kspenmoll
All Fours | Miranda July
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I just had to bail. Could not could not waste my time reading this. Even though it was for #camplitsy24, I could not get beyond 60 or so pages. #hailthebail

TheKidUpstairs It is certainly not for everyone! I hope your next read works better 1d
squirrelbrain That‘s about as far as @trishb got I think! 1d
TrishB @squirrelbrain yep! There was obviously a natural break where I just went nope! 1d
53 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Texreader
Bear: A Novel | Julia Phillips
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squirrelbrain Love a map! 1d
42 likes1 comment
blurb
Texreader
Bear: A Novel | Julia Phillips
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My next ebook. It arrived early from the library so I‘m starting it tomorrow if my travels allow. #camplitsy24 @squirrelbrain @Megabooks @BarbaraBB

AmyG I started it. Good so far. 1d
squirrelbrain Hooray! ❤️ 1d
51 likes1 stack add2 comments
blurb
kspenmoll
Murder Flies the COOP | Jessica Ellicott
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#bookreport
~top row: finished books
~middle row: buddy reads
~ bottom row: books I am reading/listening to now.#abelowstairsmystery #readyourkindle #audiobook #aberylandedwinamystery
-bailed on All Fours. #camplitsy24

38 likes1 stack add
review
Kitta
All Fours | Miranda July
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Panpan

⭐️⭐️

I‘m sorry #camplitsy24 but this was not for me! I wanted to stick it out for the sake of the discussion though. Sometimes I love a books ending. This came full circle but didn‘t impress me.

Outdated stereotypes about bisexuality and a self obsessed narrator whose privilege and mid life crisis I just couldn‘t relate to.

It was a quick read at least 🤷🏻‍♀️

Caught my Hazel taking a nap #catsoflitsy

Also counts for #lgbt2024 @Kenyazero

dabbe #fanofthepan! 🤩🤩🤩 2d
TheBookHippie Agree with everything you said. 2d
26 likes2 comments
blurb
Megabooks
All Fours | Miranda July
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Last question! I hope these have been good ones. I've got more next week, and I hope to see you back around the #CampLitsy24 campfire.

Also, join me in wishing a good vacation to Barbara. She may not be in the discussion much because she's flying to Japan! Enjoy it, B!

See All 65 Comments
Chelsea.Poole I had a difficult time grasping her sexuality…in the beginning she is all about Davey and married to Harris. In her fantasies often she takes on male personas. She also remembers that people often assume she‘s romantically involved with her female friend but scoffs at that. Then she has encounters with women—is it that she‘s allowing her true self to come forward? I have more questions about her sexuality than answers. Maybe that‘s the point? 2d
Meshell1313 Oh I totally think she‘s been repressing her truth (attracted to women?) in exchange for what she sees as the perfect family. And that‘s not working for her. She needs to find and live her truth no matter what that looks like because as we keep seeing in the book the alternative leads to depression and even worse things. That‘s the message I‘m really getting about all women- repression must be rebelled against. 2d
sarahbarnes I actually don‘t think she‘s specifically repressing feelings for other women - I think she‘s repressing many things as a mid-40s married woman with a child. To me she hasn‘t denied or repressed her queerness (and identifying as queer can mean actually rejecting a specific label on your sexual identity) by being in her marriage, but she is feeling unfulfilled and stuck in a more general sense. 2d
GatheringBooks Great Qs throughout - thank you. I am not sure if it was repression as much as feeling “unfulfilled and stuck in a more general sense” as @sarahbarnes has beautifully captured it. I didn‘t feel the repression of sexuality - more like a feeling of confinement for a life and a home that she just happened to be in at present, and the ache for moments of aliveness and the quickening of the pulse brought about by something real and true - and beautiful 2d
sarahbarnes @GatheringBooks agreed - very well-put. “A feeling of confinement.” 2d
TheBookHippie I think she feels trapped. I also think she isn‘t being true to whatever or whoever she wants to be. 2d
TheKidUpstairs @sarahbarnes I agree that she's repressing so much of herself in a fairly conventional marriage. I think if she had been born 15 years later she likely wouldn't have ended up in a traditional marriage at all. It's not so much her sexuality as not knowing she could have given herself the space to live a different kind of life. I love how she seems to be fiercely protecting Sam's knowledge that they can create their own life. 2d
Kitta I was actually really unhappy with how the book dealt with this. Describing her urges as lesbianish kind of erases bi and pan people. Anyone can identify however they want but this specific wording bothered me. You don‘t turn on and off being a lesbian. It also plays into the (unfortunate and untrue) stereotype that bisexual people are more likely to cheat, which wasn‘t okay with me. I expected more from a queer author. 2d
Kitta She‘s definitely repressing a lot more of herself than just her sexuality with Harris. It sounds like she‘d not even attracted to him, just that she‘s settled into a relationship with him and it‘s easier to stay. Safe, secure, but monotonous. I don‘t think she wants to leave him but she‘s definitely only herself with her friend Jodie. Even the food they eat seems tightly controlled until she sneaks out for junk food with her friend. 2d
Leniverse So far this whole book has been a series of WTF moments for me. I can't get a grasp on the MC, her sexuality, or her relationship with her husband. Everything she says and does seems like a manic performance, even in her own mind she puts on an act. She's a mid-40s woman with a fluid-ish sexuality who feels trapped in/alienated from her own life. Hey, I just described myself! And yet I can't connect with her at all, zero points of identification. 2d
sarahbarnes @TheKidUpstairs I also like the way she approaches parenting in that way. And I agree that she‘s finding that she wants to be able to live a different life and have more space (in a number of ways) than her marriage is currently giving her. 2d
RaeLovesToRead 1/? I actually completely disagree with the statement. I don't think she represses her sexuality at all. She's attracted to and has had relationships with both men and women and seems at peace with that. The assumption conflates sexual identity with sexual behaviour. If a person chooses a monogamous relationship, it will naturally curb exploratory sexual behaviour because fidelity is expected... 2d
RaeLovesToRead 2/? In the case of our MC, she feels stifled behaviourally by monogamous marriage to a person who is more of an ally than a romantic partner. It is completely possible for a person of bisexual orientation to be satisfied in a FIERCELY MONOGAMOUS ROMANTIC PARTNERING 2d
CarolynM I would have liked to understand why she chose to marry Harris in the first place, and why the only things of hers in the house were the spoons. He didn‘t strike me as the kind of person who would want her not to express herself. Totally agree with @Leniverse about her putting on an act, but why was she doing it? (edited) 2d
RaeLovesToRead 3/? This does not in any way rob them of their queer identity. Any monogamous relationship, however, will alter sexual expression and behaviour and it's not for everyone. I have the benefit of having read the rest of this book, and it is a brilliant exploration of relationship dynamics and balance of needs of the individual vs a relationship. 2d
RaeLovesToRead 4/4 This is not a case of identity being suppressed, but of a marriage no longer being serviceable to both parties. 2d
AmyG My thoughts when reading was that she was sort of going through a journey (not unlike a teen/young adult would do) to discover her sexuality. She has always done what she felt she should do and maybe one of those things was marrying, having sex, with men. Now she feels free to discover who she is. @BarbaraBB Have a wonderful vacation. japan sound wonderful! 2d
CarolynM @RaeLovesToRead Yes! Identity vs expression/behaviour. But why promise fidelity if what you want is freedom? 2d
TheBookHippie @Kitta lots of heterosexual troupes in this read. Not a fan. 2d
TheBookHippie @RaeLovesToRead 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 the marriage is not serving both parties, and hasn‘t evolved with its participants. 2d
RaeLovesToRead @CarolynM Society's expectations? Change of desires over time? I think people are generally becoming more accepting of non-traditional setups in relationships nowadays. I'm sure her behaviour will divide opinion. Whether or not she felt repressed, she behaves in a way that is deceitful, unfaithful, selfish and hurtful. It makes a good story, but if someone behaved like her irl I wouldn't be on their side. 2d
RaeLovesToRead (She's perfectly entitled to leave her marriage, but the way she goes about things is not really on) 2d
RaeLovesToRead @TheBookHippie 💯 I finished the book a while ago so I know how things play out ultimately. I do have a problem with the stereotype that bisexual people can't be happy in monogamous relationships, which is why I take exception to the notion that she's repressing her identity. But in this character's case, sexual freedom is more important to her than security and exclusivity. 2d
Larkken I got the feeling that she was trying not to hurt Harris by leaning into relationships with women instead of men after she made their marriage implode. So I don‘t know that I felt like she was repressing her queer sexuality ever so much as she is only in one relationship at a time, and none of them get all of her (sexuality, person, art) bc that‘s just how life is when someone else doesn‘t live in your head. 2d
Larkken But yes, I agree with y‘all that the marriage is no longer working. I think they could have made it work, and that she is sad and envious of other relationships, but that leaving it would also be healthy (edited) 2d
Larkken @RaeLovesToRead yes! Exactly. 2d
ImperfectCJ I hope this makes sense as I'm commenting with covid brain (and perimenopause), but I have the feeling that she's repressing everything about herself. She's in this pattern of trying to protect herself by conforming to what others want her to be/do, but she's never learned to communicate directly (quite the opposite) and so just intimates what they might want and then holds her breath. Her sexuality is the one way she knows to express herself 2d
ImperfectCJ Sure, she's an artist, but she seems surprised by and disconnected from that, too, so I don't know if it feels to her like self expression 2d
TheKidUpstairs @Leniverse I agree with what you said about performance. She seems to be even performing a midlife crisis. I don't think she knows how to look at herself without being her own audience. I think I like how completely unrelatable she is as a character, I don't think July set out to write any sort of universal experience. I would find her unsufferable as a person, but as a character I'm fascinated. 2d
DGRachel @RaeLovesToRead I completely agree with your note about her behavior being deceitful, selfish, unfaithful, and hurtful. That‘s where she lost me. There are very few situations in my life where I feel brave or confident enough to speak up for myself, but I am not deceitful. I find everything about her behavior reprehensible. 2d
RaeLovesToRead @DGRachel @TheBookHippie The MC is the polar opposite of me (at least morally). I value honesty, trust, directness, openness, communication, kindness, efforts to preserve the feelings / dignity of others... recognising one's own needs is super-important, but it's not OK to trample all over someone else in order to get there. 2d
RaeLovesToRead (She is about 400x more interesting to read about though 😄) 2d
TheBookHippie @RaeLovesToRead I wish I found her interesting I could have finished the book 🤣😝😬. 2d
Deblovestoread @RaeLovesToRead 💯 I find her choices to be reprehensible so have suspended judgement to allow me to continue to read. 2d
JenReadsAlot @TheBookHippie I finished but agree I didn't find her interesting! Just annoying! 2d
Megabooks @TheKidUpstairs I agree it is a bit of a generational thing. Gen Xers like me, I think, were sold a bill that's it's either crazy commune life or upright married couple. I'm glad there are more variations between now. And @kitta I didn't particularly like the bi/pan erasure either. I think that could also be a generational thing. Sexuality was so much more rigid when I was younger, but could she evolve? Yes, absolutely. 2d
Megabooks @RaeLovesToRead I understand that in her head and with certain friends she's very very queer (as is the case for many folks in straight-appearing relationships). I guess what I was going for in the question was all those ways she doesn't express that life to Harris - how she hid her burlesque past and hid her still strong attraction towards women from him. (edited) 2d
Megabooks @ImperfectCJ Yes, sometimes I felt like she was holding so much in that it was a dam that was bound to burst. 2d
RaeLovesToRead @TheBookHippie @Deblovestoread @JenReadsAlot Yeah, I meant more interesting than ME! Lol. I'm not going on any sexy road trips any time soon 🤣🤣 2d
RaeLovesToRead @Megabooks She's with the wrong person through and through 2d
TheBookHippie @RaeLovesToRead I go on sexy road trips with Mr BookHippie -so that probs doesn‘t count 🫣😅💕🤣. 2d
RaeLovesToRead @TheBookHippie Haha awww! That's cute! 2d
Megabooks @RaeLovesToRead 💯💯 I‘m really curious what people will say next week about how things turn out. 🤫🤔 2d
RaeLovesToRead This book spun me in so many different directions it was like a washing machine. But like... not a clean one haha 2d
TheBookHippie @Megabooks as an eldest Gen X I think it‘s in your upbringing and exposure/set of tenants and beliefs one is taught. We never didn‘t think sexuality was fluid and there are all types of families and couples. That being said I know a lot of women my age who think they were sold a bill of goods. (Growing up I was with Hippies or my Bubbe who was a staunch feminist-plot twist my parents turned to alt right religious evangelicals in my teens😵‍💫) 2d
Roary47 @Leniverse I agree with your response. I also find myself like 😳. The moment with Davey relieving himself… umm. I‘m not sure what her sexuality is, but I did notice a they/them applied to Sam at least once. I don‘t feel she is repressing or ashamed of anything except her marriage. @RaeLovesToRead I agree the marriage is not benefiting both parties. She even mentioned she going to have to owe him sex… umm what?! 🤯 I‘m lost. 😅 2d
youneverarrived That‘s how I see it too @sarahbarnes 2d
squirrelbrain I agree @JenReadsAlot - with so much going on, the MC was weirdly vacuous and uninteresting. 1d
Hooked_on_books The reason I didn‘t like this book is that it felt to me that all it wanted to talk about was sex and everything else was just a tacked-on, unexplored checklist. Queerness, check! Reno of a hotel room, check! Ungendered child, check! There could have been so much depth here but it just read to me as shallow. 1d
Megabooks @TheBookHippie I think it's a good point that it depends on your upbringing/influence. I do think the idea of being queer in any way wasn't expressed in mainstream culture. You didn't turn on network TV and see the representation you see in media now. Pedro was a big deal. Ellen was a big deal. I think it's so much easier to see that representation and make the decision to openly express yourself. 1d
Megabooks @TheBookHippie That being said, I am not out to everyone in my large Kentucky town. But at least I can interact with other queer people in my community and online, and it was so much harder to find that in the past. 1d
TheBookHippie @Megabooks I was an adult a long time when Pedro was on the TV 🙃 My growing up years & college we had dance clubs, but most of those friends we lost to AIDS, I think it just depends where you live and what your exposed to. Queer people have always been around and if you look closely you can see them in culture. Maude in 70s Golden Girls 80s was revolutionary -being out is hopefully easier now🤞🏻and hopefully represented more in the main media. 1d
squirrelbrain Interesting point @Larkken but I wonder if she even cares enough for Harris in that way to not want to hurt him? 1d
squirrelbrain Yes, I agree @Hooked_on_books - I thought that Sam being ungendered could have been explored a bit more. Although maybe that‘s my naivety in such topics and the author was just ‘normalising‘ the subject by including it but not highlighting it. 1d
Hooked_on_books @squirrelbrain Normalizing may have been her goal, but she didn‘t succeed. I felt she was forceful and repetitive in bringing up the topic, but that was it. Disappointing. 13h
45 likes65 comments
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Megabooks
All Fours | Miranda July
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Crazy for Davey...question 2! #CampLitsy24

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Chelsea.Poole Super into Davey! He was the first person she encountered outside her normal life, and she thinks he doesn‘t know who she is. Maybe that was a part of her original attraction to him. Ps—my husband‘s name is Dave, should I start calling him Davey? 😂 2d
Meshell1313 Oh Davey. Perhaps as we get older it‘s still exciting when someone new notices you and likes what they see. 🤣 So thrilling. Mostly I thought it was just a break from her life and a chance for her to live out her youth a little bit. (edited) 2d
sarahbarnes I agree - I think it‘s his youth and that she perceives him to be uncomplicated at first. And there‘s clearly an instant chemistry of some kind between them, from both sides. 2d
GatheringBooks I think it‘s beauty. She is an artist, after all. And aren‘t we all just in search of the beautiful, the ephemeral, the fleeting? And a genuine connection - i honestly don‘t know about the nature of their connection but what is palpable is the thirst for beauty. And maybe for davey it was fascination for someone famous, older, and the unfamiliar? Like she is what he could have been if he had stuck with his artform/dance? 2d
GatheringBooks @Chelsea.Poole that is super cute! We are rooting for you whether davey or dave! 💕💕💕 2d
TheBookHippie She‘s trying to be anonymous would be my guess and that can be intoxicating. 2d
Suet624 @GatheringBooks I love this response about the thirst for beauty. 2d
Suet624 When I went through menopause there was a brief period where I felt like I was going through puberty. Just being near someone who was remotely attractive and somewhat interested in me would set me off emotionally and physically. Nerve endings were jumping all over the place. It was overwhelming and reminded me of all those unpleasant hormonal times prior to menopause. That's all I could think of when I read about her reaction to Davey. 2d
TheKidUpstairs @Suet624 that makes a lot of sense. And paired with the fact that she didn't know she was in perimenopause at the time, that kind of attraction could feel like some type of crazy soul connection. I think a lot comes back to just how disconnected she was from any sense of herself in her day to day life. So that sort of connection was extra electric. 2d
Suet624 @TheKidUpstairs yes, exactly. 2d
Kitta I love what @GatheringBooks said about thirst for beauty. It‘s interesting she keeps saying she wouldn‘t normally be attracted to him though. That her friends would laugh if they knew what she felt and what he looked like. I don‘t picture him as beautiful in the conventional sense, but maybe he has a good body? Or maybe he‘s unconventionally attractive? We can‘t control who we fall for. 2d
GatheringBooks @Kitta i based his supposed beauty on the main character‘s encounter with davey‘s mother which frankly made me roll over with laughter. Plus apparently he is a gifted dancer. 💕 2d
Leniverse I don't know... She really seems like a caricature. Like... Manic Pixie Dream Girl grew up to become a Wine Mum. Except she's *so* insecure. She can't believe that a younger guy can find her attractive and she fixates on him. I'm about her age, and do I wish I was as fit as in my 20s or 30s? Sure. But the best thing about getting older is that I've run out of Fs to give. Not that I had that many to begin with, so I guess I'm just a different type 2d
CarolynM I think the fact he said he was a fan of her work and she felt superior to him because he wasn‘t an “artist” although he was trying to be one made him attractive. I think she was struggling with her husband‘s seriousness about his work and with his working relationship with a talented young woman. An unthreatening young man was a way of competing with that. 2d
AmyG With Davey she could be anyone she wanted to be. She didn‘t have to play a role. Yes to what @TheBookHippie said. And @Suet624 probably hormones all over the place! And she found him beautiful….I would say that is the beauty of youth….her last grasp at youth, maybe unconsciously knowing what is ahead of her. 2d
RaeLovesToRead It is a case of pure animal attraction 2d
RaeLovesToRead Of discovering a body-centred desire after a lifetime of experiencing it in a more mind-rooted way. She is fully cognisant of the situation, but is completely hijacked by sexual desire 2d
TheBookHippie @Leniverse SAME. Although I loved my 40s -shhh don‘t tell anyone. I too would like my 28 yr old body. However I do NOT want to be 28 🤣😵‍💫. I‘ve never had Fs to give I‘m thinking that‘s the difference … 2d
Leniverse @RaeLovesToRead Good analysis. Body centred Vs mind centred. I forgot that she ruminated about what she finds attractive. 2d
Larkken @GatheringBooks love this. I think it is possible to crush on someone for something other than their body. Though she does have some very body-based … fantasies? About him. 2d
ImperfectCJ I wonder if it's related to the fact that every connection in her life---with her husband, her parents, her fans and fellow artists---feels conditional, and Davey seems to be offering her an admiration that feels pure and unrestrained. She's never learned how to have intimacy that isn't sexual, so this is how it manifests itself 2d
Christine Loving these convos (as always)! Though I was content to DNF this at around 30%, I‘m wondering if she unpacked or further analyzed the fact that Davey knew who she was/was a fan from the start? She hadn‘t much at the point where I stopped. 2d
Roary47 I like what @GatheringBooks said. It‘s seems that mostly it is about the dancing and just living as if she was young again. At first she thought that Davey didn‘t know who she was so I agree with @TheBookHippie on being anonymous. I appreciate the input you provided @Suet624 it helps me sort of sympathize with her. 2d
Megabooks @Meshell1313 Yes, I enjoy when someone notices me, and I'm not just that middle aged lady at the grocery store or wherever! 2d
Megabooks @Suet624 This very same thing is happening to me, and I feel like I'm losing my mind some days. This is why I picked this book for my month! When I finally read the hormonal reason it happens in The New Menopause, I felt a little less crazy. 😂 2d
Megabooks @CarolynM I remember it being a more awkward thing when she found out he was a fan, but maybe I'm remembering it wrong. She thought Davey was attracted to her for being herself, but he turned out to be just another fan. She followed through with trying to seduce him, but I think she would've preferred to continue to be anonymous. 2d
Suet624 @Megabooks out of curiosity, what do they say is the hormonal reason? (Although I can probably guess.) 2d
Megabooks @Suet624 Apparently the people who feel more sexual at perimenopause have androgen production from their adrenal glands but no longer have the estrogen production from their ovaries to compensate for it. I can't remember if the androgen production has risen in this situation or if it's just pure lack of opposition. I'd have to check the book, but it's the first place I've read any explanation of this craziness! 2d
Megabooks @Suet624 And by androgens I mean hormones like testosterone. And some days I swear I feel like I'm in 10th grade again. It's so weird. 2d
youneverarrived I love all the different interpretations! That makes a lot of sense @Suet624. The fact he‘s attracted to her too fuels her feelings even more I think in the way she was constantly thinking about him/craving his attention. It felt like pure desire but I also think their relationship was about her experiencing intimacy in ways she maybe had wanted to express before but wasn‘t able to. 2d
Hooked_on_books It‘s none of the above. It‘s about tampons. And urine. 🤮 1d
Hooked_on_books @Leniverse Three hurrahs to no fucks to give! This is my favorite part about aging. I so wish I could have been like this in my 20s! 😂 1d
squirrelbrain Lol @Hooked_on_books - coming to this late as I‘ve been out all day and your comment made me laugh out loud! 1d
TrishB @squirrelbrain @Hooked_on_books me too! Best quote of the day. 1d
peaKnit @Suet624 @Megabooks Gosh, I‘m so there with you, some days are crazy hormonally, I just had a weird resurgence of my period after over a year, all the fun things they medical folks do😱 but the resurgence of hormones was actually strangely delightful. I booked an HRT appt! lol. I think she was very taken by Dave‘s because he made her feel seen in her mind. Truly, I‘m not sure what he was actually feeling…I think the money confused things. 1d
Bookwormjillk @CarolynM I agree that she liked that he knew who she was. She also had that superiority complex where she thought that his job was to wash windshields but he actually worked for a rental place. She was so dismissive like all car jobs are the same. 1d
Suet624 @Megabooks that‘s interesting about the reason behind it. I remember the 10th grade feeling. So intense and so weird. 1d
Megabooks @peaKnit I kept trying to find an explanation because every place said, you may feel more sexual if you are in a new relationship. Nope, internet. Just happened out of the blue! One day I felt like a “normal“ perimenopausal woman. The next day I was 15 again. It was totally jarring. I'm considering HRT for the night sweats and brain fog, but I'm trying to work out that with treating my MCAS first. 1d
Megabooks @Suet624 @peaknit I think that was part of the draw of putting this book in my month because of that morning I woke up and felt like I was in some sort of menopausal body switch movie! 😂 😂 1d
CBee Sorry y‘all, I stopped reading 😳 I just didn‘t have the urge to get back to it and when I did, I felt all cringey 😂 @Megabooks @BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain 20h
BarbaraBB Another great discussion. Yes @suet624 @GatheringBooks @Chelsea.Poole @Meshell1313 @megabooks I agree with you it‘s about beauty and being seen. And it‘s so recognizable. Let‘s admit it I think the dancing instead of sex was super sexy and something that would make me feel so beautiful and ‘seen‘. There have been moments in my life I‘d have killed for a Davey! (edited) 19h
39 likes50 comments
blurb
Megabooks
All Fours | Miranda July
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Wow, this book received a lot of mixed reviews from #CampLitsy24 readers! Looking forward to seeing where this discussion takes us.

See All 72 Comments
Chelsea.Poole I wondered this myself and I‘m really not sure why she redecorated that motel room! Was it to leave her mark somewhere? Although, she‘s already pretty famous for her creations and work… and then she hired someone else to do the work, so I suppose it‘s not even her own “mark” she‘s leaving. 2d
Suet624 Do I remember correctly that her husband decorated the home in his style and she didn‘t feel free or was told not to change anything? Or was that just in my own life? Anyway, I think she just wanted something of her own that was lush and inspired. 2d
Meshell1313 I agree that it seems like she wanted something that was just hers. In her own life she has to follow the norm and this was her chance to color outside the lines for a change. A great metaphor really. (edited) 2d
sarahbarnes I agree with @Suet624 that I think she‘s trying to create space for herself, literally and figuratively, in the room. She headed off on the trip on the first place to have some space, but it seems like the trip to NY wasn‘t going to actually address the thing she‘s feeling like she needs to address. And I think she‘s trying to do that through the hotel room. 2d
GatheringBooks Yes, you remembered correctly, @Suet624 - her only contribution to her husband‘s home is the ten spoons and the two lions. I thought it was her sanctuary of sorts - indulgent be damned. Talk about midlife crisis. I found myself laughing out loud at the very idea of spending 20k for something you won‘t own. This nearly made me bail - because too privileged for my taste - but i surprised myself by reading through it. (edited) 2d
TrishB @GatheringBooks I did bail at that point because of the privilege aspect. Are we supposed to feel sorry for her because she couldn‘t make any contribution to the marital home? But then have 20k to decorate a hotel room. 2d
TheBookHippie @TrishB The privilege and entitlement made me about puke. 2d
Suet624 @TrishB I thought in her world that $20K was “found“ money and she didn't seem attached to it. We already knew she was rich. I lived for decades in a situation where I had money but was not allowed to contribute anything to the way the house looked. All I left with were books that I had had to put out of sight while I lived there. I suggested an apartment of my own but that didn't transpire due to wanting to keep the kids happy.
2d
Suet624 (cont) So I could relate to her situation in that regard.. :) (edited) 2d
sarahbarnes I don‘t disagree on the privilege piece. But, that $20k came as a royalty on a specific piece of her art. I get the sense it was a one-time thing and not the norm in her life. Hence why everyone was encouraging her to use it on a crazy trip to NY. But I think she rejects the conventionality of that choice for something that no one could ever understand. I also think it‘s telling that she paid someone else - Davey‘s partner - to do that for her. 2d
sarahbarnes So she didn‘t entirely give the money away but she wasn‘t the only one who benefitted from it. @GatheringBooks @TrishB @TheBookHippie 2d
TrishB I think you either like the MC or don‘t in this book! @Suet624 @sarahbarnes @TheBookHippie @GatheringBooks 2d
TheBookHippie @sarahbarnes she in and of herself Too privileged for me to read, actions aside. 2d
TheBookHippie @Suet624 it was her, not her actions. 2d
sarahbarnes @TrishB fair point! 😁 2d
TheKidUpstairs I agree with the idea that she was liking to create a room of her own. And as @sarahbarnes pointed out, she had already tried to give away the 20K. But her people all encouraged her to spoil herself with it, and I think she had gotten so far away from knowing herself that she didn't know how to do that. And the last time she felt spoiled and luxurious was the hotel room in Paris, so she created a space that gave her that feeling. 2d
Kitta @TrishB agreed and I‘m in the latter camp. I don‘t identify with her at all. Maybe because I‘m a driver not a Parker? Idk it seems crazy to me not to follow through with plans I made with people, just cancel everything and stay in a motel. Kinda rude? Also… If I wanted to do that I just would and not lie about it? I feel really bad for her husband and like this won‘t end well. 2d
Leniverse I mean... is she really not allowed to change/add anything in her home because it is her husband's house, or does she just not have the confidence to do it? I find it hard to get a read on the husband and their relationship because she's a fairly unreliable and mega bloody weird narrator. Also, she's been working in the garage for years and hasn't even fixed her wobbly desk. Surely she could do anything she wanted in there 🤷🏻‍♀️ 2d
TrishB @Kitta yeah, I couldn‘t see why she didn‘t just say I want a break. But I guess the book wouldn‘t be as ‘interesting‘ or radical then if it was real. 2d
TrishB @Leniverse good points! 2d
TheBookHippie @Leniverse 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 2d
JenReadsAlot I just don't get her thought process at all 😂 2d
Kitta @Leniverse oh I missed the point about the wobbly desk, must have skimmed that part lol. But she definitely could just decorate in there! I agree. Why decorate a motel of all things? Unless the impermanence and secrecy was the point? She wants something separate from her “real” life. 2d
CarolynM I didn‘t get this at all. I agree with the points @Kitta and @Leniverse made. I really didn‘t get why she was so convinced her husband didn‘t know the the “real” her. I could only assume she had been dishonest with him throughout their relationship. (edited) 2d
sarahbarnes @TheKidUpstairs I like the room of one‘s own analogy and agree that she is thinking back to that place in Paris as an anchor point in her current feeling of being lost, and trying to come back to herself. 2d
Leniverse She and her husband have this salute thing that they do, and various couple things, but she is almost glamourising the trauma of Sam's birth because they have never been closer. And she's waiting for the time when he will truly know her. They have spectacular sex, but it still feels like a chore. He's having an affair (maybe?) with his assistant, but she's not threatened by that at all. Idk, she seems in denial about everything. 2d
AmyG I agree with alot of you. She had been the wife, the mother….doing everything for everyone but herself….living in a home decorated by her husband. For those thinking she didn‘t she speak up, decorate her home the way she wanted…..this story is a metaphor. It‘s making the point of a woman coming into her own from perimenopause to post menopause. Alot of this book makes not alot of sense or is a bit absurd but that‘s just the weirdness of it. 2d
AmyG As for him “not knowing her”….I think that is valid and not uncommon. I am sure many, many wives play the role of wife, mother…with inner thoughts and feelings that no one knows. 2d
RaeLovesToRead My reaction to this was "the heck is she doing?" ??? 2d
youneverarrived I didn‘t really get why she wanted to decorate a hotel room but as you get to know the character and with the whole book in mind I think it‘s a place where she can be a bit more free in who she is, explore desires etc - @AmyG I completely agree with you - that‘s how I read it too 2d
TheBookHippie @AmyG I agree it‘s a metaphor. I just personally find it a bad one and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I do not like how it is portraying women in general. Also why I don‘t read this type book normally 🤣🤣🤣🫣😬😝 2d
Larkken I was torn by this mc. Like, I wanted to be on board with a woman having a messy midlife crisis for a change but I agree that her situation and privilege made it unrelatable. Or maybe the privilege was so that it could be so out there and unhinged? I found myself skimming because as much as I found the mcs thoughts interesting all the things she did were also intensely irritating. 2d
Roary47 I agree with @TrishB this is a love or hate main character. I get wanting something that is hers, but the hotel room isn‘t hers either. I agree with a lot of you that the privilege. I also feel bad for her husband like @Kitta stated. I also don‘t understand why she can‘t change anything @Leniverse 2d
AmyG @TheBookHippie Ha! Either it works for the reader or it doesn‘t. I kind of enjoy the wackiness of her books. 🤣 2d
Roary47 @AmyG maybe the problem is I‘m not there quite yet so I‘m not relating to her at all. I agree @TheBookHippie even as a metaphor this is painting a bad light for women. Saying: “It‘s the menopause that made me do it” doesn‘t sit right with me. 2d
TheBookHippie @Larkken I think shes the goes to Bookclub drinks the wine never reads the book and talks about how much she hates her husband and her life type person 😵‍💫🤣😬😝🫣🤣😂😅 2d
TheBookHippie @Roary47 EXACTLY. It‘s her. Not menopause. 2d
DGRachel I think a lot of how you look at this book, the MC, and her actions including the bizarre decorating of a hotel room, depends on whether you can identify with her on any level. Other than being in perimenopause myself, I can find no common ground, and I find most of her actions abhorrent. I bailed after the first masturbatory Davey fantasy scene. 2d
DGRachel But as for the question - I definitely felt it was bizarre. Not only that she wanted to redecorate, but that no one in the hotel actually stopped her. I cannot imagine any hotel that would let someone continue to extend their stay and completely renovate/redecorate one room. 2d
ChaoticMissAdventures @AmyG I am glad I am not the only one! I like the wackiness. I don't think one bad acting woman blaming menopause is represented if all ladies, she is just having her own particular (privileged) break down and I am having fun seeing how far July is taking things. 2d
TrishB Lots of interesting thoughts! I‘m with @TheBookHippie I know it‘s a metaphor, but a damaging one that‘s gaining traction- oh ok it‘s the menopause- let all deranged oppressed women free!! And I‘m an outright feminist. If she wanted people to discuss this book she won!! 2d
Megabooks Like @suet264 I live in a house I don't have much say over, and it's very frustrating. I feel unmoored at times. I get why it smacks of privilege, but she hired Claire for the amount she'd need to get IVF, so I guess that's a bit more altruistic way to use the royalty windfall than hiring a random person. I think she needed to feel grounded and the hotel room allowed her that. 2d
TheBookHippie @TrishB 🎯🎯🎯🎯 2d
Larkken @TrishB that‘s fair. I guess I‘m here for the messy lady protagonist (we don‘t have to be perfect to sell a book! I read Big Swede! Go US!) but! My fav parts of this book were when she did the survey of postmenopausal ladies (so, not the mc 🤣) or the birth story which I found personally relatable. Everything else was a bit overly deranged I agree. 2d
Larkken @TheBookHippie oh man. Yes, I want to think that I have space for friends like her but you‘re right. They‘re just a drain on resources 🫗😂 2d
TrishB @Larkken I didn‘t get to the survey- I‘d given up by then! 2d
AmyG @Roary47 I think it‘s more of a her + menopause….hormones exasperated what might have happened anyway. I don‘t think menopause can make someone behave like her BUT I have heard of menopause messing up the mental state of a few people I know. 2d
Roary47 @AmyG All I remember was being a teen when my mom went through it. My poor dad… 🤣 Hormone changes, yelling, new hinges on doors… no wonder he had two jobs. 🤪 2d
TheBookHippie @Larkken You‘re a better person than me -I cannot do it. 🤣😵‍💫🫣😅 2d
Hooked_on_books I didn‘t relate to this MC at all but found the turning back to this hotel, only 30 minutes from home, and spending this money on a reno, a very interesting plot point. I feel like she‘s trying to create a fantasy. She‘s a bit at loose ends and seems to want to burrow into something different. I wanted to see this explored more, but it felt checked off so that the book could delve into sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex. 2d
Hooked_on_books @TheBookHippie @Roary47 @TrishB I completely agree about this painting women in a bad light. Like Trish says, I‘m a total feminist, and a book, especially one written by a woman, doing this makes me so mad. 2d
TheBookHippie @Hooked_on_books 🎯🎯🎯🎯 2d
squirrelbrain @kitta @leniverse @CarolynM - I agree - the relationship with her husband was so unclear, and I can‘t imagine she didn‘t re-decorate their shared house because she was submissive- she was so bolshy in all other relationships. 2d
squirrelbrain @DGRachel - I *so* couldn‘t identify with her at all. Like @TrishB commented, I thought she was over-privileged and whiny and self-obsessed. 1d
kspenmoll I bailed! Couldn‘t keep reading it! 🙄 1d
peaKnit I was hoping to relate, just in the throes of menopause but man, not at all. Her weird entitlement and privilege was very hate-able. The room was so strange, and that the hotel let her, the guy she met at the gas station - his wife decorated (this felt Highschool in a sense to me) it was bizarre to say the least. (edited) 1d
Bookwormjillk Late to camp today. I‘m not really sure what this lady was thinking but it seemed to me that she was trying to give Davey the money and insert herself in his life and this was the only way she knew how. 1d
squirrelbrain @peaKnit - it did feel quite childish in a way didn‘t it? But then, I thought the MC was a complete sulky teen (apart from the sex stuff! 😱) who craved attention and acted out when she didn‘t get it. 1d
peaKnit @squirrelbrain I could not agree more. @Bookwormjillk I agree with this also, she seemed so desperate for a foothold. 21h
BarbaraBB Oh how I adore you all. This discussion is really awesome. I notice myself agreeing with almost anything that‘s been said, either against or in favor of the narrator. 19h
Megabooks @BarbaraBB Glad you've been able to take a peek! 💜 18h
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