The Sparkling-Eyed Boy: A Memoir of Love, Grown Up

The Sparkling-Eyed Boy: A Memoir of Love, Grown Up The Sparkling Eyed Boy Is So Full Of Color And Light And Life Brad Land, Author Of GoatThe Theme Of Summer Love, In Amy Benson S Hands, Grows Up The Sparkling Eyed Boy Searches Out The Fault Lines Of Adult Nostalgia And Desire The Achingly Intense Adolescent Summer Days That Amy Benson And The Sparkling Eyed Boy Spend Together On The Remote Shores Of The St Mary S River Of Michigan S Upper Peninsula Are At The Complex Emotional Center Of The Sparkling Eyed Boy For Her, Summers Meant Returning From Her Home In Detroit To A Three Month Idyll On Much Loved Family Land, Owned For Generations, And To A Heady Culture Of Teasing, Testing Local Boys For Him, This Land Is The Place He Was Born, Where He Ll Later Find Work, Marry, And Stay And She Was The One He Had Loved Can You Pinpoint That Moment When You Made A Choice Before You Even Knew That Choosing Was Possible, Or The Terrifying Nature Of Choices The Sparkling Eyed Boy, With Its Heart Stoppingly Erotic And Yet Wholly Imagined Scenes Of Illicit Love, Its Searching Riffs On Love As Possession, Love As Pain, Reads Like A Friend S Deepest Secrets, Shared The Sparkling Eyed Boy Is So Full Of Color And Light And Life This Is Truth Of The Most Profound Sort Truth Revealed In The Artful And Lyrical Sensibility Of Benson S Words And Memory She Is Dancing With Us Not Leading, But Simply Asking Us To Watch Her Move And Take What We Will Benson Shows Us Here What The Memoir Can And Should Do Destroy And Resurrect Itself Over And Over Benson Is Doing Exactly That Brad Land, Author Of Goat The Great Pleasure And Triumph Of This Memoir Is Amy Benson S Ability To Make The Familiar New Again As She Explores The Country Of First Love Over And Over I Found Myself Surprised By The Unexpected Twists And Turns, Peaks And Abysses, Of Her Journey And Also By Her Lovely, Fiercely Intelligent Prose Margot Livesey, Author Of Criminals

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❴EPUB❵ ✰ The Sparkling-Eyed Boy: A Memoir of Love, Grown Up Author Amy Benson –
  • Paperback
  • 192 pages
  • The Sparkling-Eyed Boy: A Memoir of Love, Grown Up
  • Amy Benson
  • English
  • 02 November 2019
  • 9780618433216

10 thoughts on “The Sparkling-Eyed Boy: A Memoir of Love, Grown Up

  1. says:

    OK, there are things that are really great about this memoir there s no question about that But I really intensely disliked the narrator It s a lyrical memoir personal essay divided into short chapters that don t always obviously connect but they relate in an intuitive way It s a very poetic journey through the narrator s obsession with a romance she had as a child and teenager and the feelings she still has about this relationship today It s very crazy, intense, brave, and full on But I found the narrator to be pretty obnoxious She presents herself as pretty, desirable, and someone who was aloof as a teenager with a sense of entitlement about boys The sparkling eyed boy always carried a torch for her and she kept him at a distance because she liked to be adored and preferred to be loved than to be loving herself And then they had this kind of romance but she was always aloof and left him eventually but assumed he d wait for her for years and years, but then he didn t and later married someone else, and now she s upset about it and reflecting back on their past with a desperate and heavy heart The writing is gorgeous and there s tons of great reflections and gorgeous imagery The writing and the insights made it worth enduring the obnoxious narrator for me It s also incredibly self indulgent but that didn t bother me.

  2. says:

    The writer who chose this book as a breadloaf award winner gave me this book to read You would think that would be enough to induce me to give it a chance, but I read a chapter or two about this woman s obsession with her childhood crush, I was like, oh, barf and tossed it aside I opened it again this year, and was mesmerized by it It is an experiment in how deep, instead of broad, nonfiction can go Seems like nonfiction usually throws about as much info at you as it possible She chooses one pinprick subject first love and digs deep There are some meditations in here that will make you dizzy as a first kiss By the end I was completely won over.

  3. says:

    I honestly have no idea what I think of this book Parts of it Ethics of Nonfiction made my jaw drop Other parts felt less urgent, possibly repetitive I did like this this felt like a book of poetry in prose than a traditional memoir It s easy to excerpt, I imagine.

  4. says:

    In the sweet introduction to Amy Benson s Sparkling eyed Boy , Editor Ted Conover playfully mused, To the list of the three events that anthropologist say characterize human life around the globe birth marriage, and death I wonder if it isn t time to add a fourth first love And already I am exclaiming at how brilliant that idea was 179 pages later, I m not just nodding my head in vigorous affirmation I am clench fisted crying yes, yes, all first loves deserve documentation as heartstoppingly beautiful and honest as this The Sparkling eyed Boy is a book which presents itself as a memoir of a love grown up and it is, in every sense and in each sentence The charming nuances of childhood crushes, the unforgettable tremors of longing, the gut wrenching regrets and the maddening what could have beens it s all here.I have never quite encountered a book as intense and intelligent such as this and that makes Amy Benson s voice so special and set apart from an otherwise vague and faceless genre It was exceptional as a memoir but it has also been many things to me from chapter to chapter From a no holds barred diary to a devoted ode, a fiery loveletter, a disquieting requiem, to a shameless journal of imagination and hesitation, a bible of sorts about the many dangers and delights of passion, a penultimate serenade to young love.She writes Is this what I want from the sparkling eyed boy, then I want him to have triumphed where I failed I want him to be an emblem of what won t ever be possible to be of the stars and not just a visitor to them It was important, dangerous, fathomless, to stand over a crying teenage boy turning himself inside out on the sand But I merely watched as if I were preserving the moment instead of living it Time the things we think it takes from us allows us the dramas of our lives Take a last look, take a last look It s going to be a long time The book is labeled as a creative non fiction work, and how can you not find that so intriguing The fact that this author can love as beautifully as she writes still blow my mind Throughout reading this book, I ve been fighting the very strong urge to get online and google if the real identity of the sparkling eyed boy has ever been disclosed, since his name was never mentioned even once But you see, I learned that such passionate love can only be secret I cannot imagine the tremendous feeling of being that sparkling eyed boy, whoever he was, in case he d ever get a hold of this book in his hands someday in his life How glorious it must be to be the recipient of such a powerful loveletter.I mean, seriously, how can your heart not break at this I am afraid that people will see me as betraying my own kind another story about a girl incomplete without a boy and his transformative love But I hope that you understand I don t want your seed, your ring, your paycheck, your security I don t want to complain about work to you I don t want you to drive me when we go to the fish fry or throw your arm across my chest when you break for a deer I don t want you to surprise me with flowers or plan an anniversary cruise to Alaska I don t want to wake up next to you and tell you about that dream I had, ask you to scratch my back I don t want to become frustrated with your taste in music or grow my hair long because you d like to hold it in your hands and lay one strand, two strands, three strands across the bridge of your nose at night I don t want ever to to have to imagine the end of your imagination, my imagination, or feel, like a switchblade through my brain, the hope that yours is not the last body I d like to be under, over, under again These things are fine in their own way I mean that But what I really want from you, and what you can expect from me, is to have my name scarred on your heart and yours on mine So when we die, if they cut us open, they will know someone lived in us me in you and you in me Whatever that might mean I love that she s so vulnerable and so, so brave in getting all these emotions out in the open And she does it so well, too In many ways, she s been successful in articulating that one unforgettable phase in our lives marking the threshold of innocence towards a world of hurt She bids farewell to things so magnificently, that her secret desperation reaches out to me, yanks my heartstrings and whispers you ve felt this pain too, didn t you Here she writes about the embarrassing awkwardness of remembering the letters a younger version of herself has written for the sparkling eyed boy in the past But I don t remember letters Real words on pages, maybe dingy envelopes, misspelled words The truth about the girl who wrote them, maybe about the boy who kept them The part of me writing about the remnants of the sparkling eyed boy and my own dumb, young self has been struck a walloping blow No matter what, I think, we want a self that seems knowable at least to us, defensible In moments like this, my self is a glass dropped I didn t know I was carrying startled and broken all at once it is impossible to tell how the pieces should fit together or even if they were mine in the first place or just stray bits swept in I viciously need to know what a younger me might have written to a younger him, and when and why I want to start breathing again and demand that he place the letters in my palm I want essentially, to say, Tell me about me, make me whole again I need to know that the kind of truth memory offers turns us irreparable into liars and cheats and strangers to others or ourselves This book, it is a clear and dauntless mirror.It s already been a year since I have read this memoir, and I knew upon finishing it that it is imperative to be given a review, a reaction Its greatness demanded insights, and even resurrects the very memories from the pits of its readers hearts It took a long time for me to come up with my own word to talk back to what this book has to say, and obviously, I am still fidgeting my way around my descriptions, because frankly, I concede that I will not do it justice Yet, I could only be grateful again for such a reading experience I am not sorry to be reminded of my own pain, if it s done with so much grace and fearlessness It is the kind of book that leaves you thinking, feeling, crying, cringing, falling deeper in love and growing, growing into a bigger, better, beautiful person.It is, from first page to last, about the sparkling eyed boy, but I believe that ultimately, albeit in a very subtle way, this book is about each one of us who had a sparkling eyed boy once in our own lives, and the kids inside our adult shadows who never quite learn or maybe still refuses to forget and let go of the hand that first held us and made our hearts beat like never before in our lives.

  5. says:

    Fell flatI bought this book because it got such good reviews I feel like those reviews came from people with the back of their hands to their foreheads trying to be intellectuals After the first hundred pages it became boring, tedious, difficult Not my kind of book.

  6. says:

    This book is deeply personal, almost like reading private diary It is sometimes painful to see someone stuck and yet also relatable I find this memoir honest and can see self destructive things I have done reflected in her behaviour Enjoyed this thought provoking book.

  7. says:

    I really hated this book at first The author is, at times, insufferably self absorbed But, she knows this, and the parts where she turns either a critical eye not just a self conscious, self deprecating one on herself or onto the world are the parts when the book really shines for me Deeply and enrichingly insightful Don t judge a book by the first half of the book.

  8. says:

    As a student pursuing a creative writing minor in college, I had the opportunity to take classes with talented professors who were writers I had Amy Benson for the introductory class, Cathy Day for Fiction Workshop, and Jess Ro for the culminating Writer s Workshop Each professor had written a book that I bought because I thought it was the knees bees that my professors were published Of the three, though, I only ended up reading Jess Ro s The Train to Lo Wu because it was assigned for another creative writing class Benson s The Sparking Eyed Boy and Day s The Circus in Winter have been sitting on my bookshelf for the last 7 8 years it s been that long since college I can t explain why these two books have alluded me all of these years When I bought them in college I didn t really have time for pleasure reading and when I did have the opportunity to read there were always other books This summer, though, I decided that instead of running out to get the hottest hardcovers I d take stock of my bookshelf and start reading the books I always meant to read Benson s The Sparkling Eyed Boy got the nod over Day s The Circus in Winter purely based on the season Benson s The Sparkled Eyed Boy is a memoir intertwined with fictional interludes As an adult, Benson looks back on her summers spent vacationing in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and her fluctuating relationship with a boy, affectionately referred to as the Sparkled Eyed Boy Though many years have passed since Benson and the boy parted, Benson just can t forget her first real love Benson s story is highly readable and engaging which is partially because it s relatable Many people have experienced an all encompassing love that defies logic, a love that feels impenetrable But then, for whatever reason, the relationship hits an impasse Maybe the timing wasn t right or things were said or done that shouldn t have been Benson explores and analyzes her relationship with the sparkled eyed boy and embarks on a journey many of us wish we could I d be descriptive but I don t want to give away any spoilers Benson s writing is beautiful, honest, heartbreaking, and real It inspires me to write I therefore recommend this book for all the lovers, writers, and readers out there.

  9. says:

    This is a book that fully explores why the first cut is the deepest If memoir is akin to poetry, and if it dares to wonder why there are certain moments from adolescence that we return to again and again after years have past, then this book is not just a model for what memoirists aspire to achieve it also offers a way to express what has been lost and will never be recovered The loss of Amy s first love is sad, indeed, but her conflation of this loss with the loss of home, of youth itself, makes this story a complex rendering of how we find our identity in where we are from, and in those whom we can t help but love.

  10. says:

    It s difficult to explain how wonderful this book is without making you actually read it on the cover of things, you d be forgiven for thinking that you didn t want to read an entire book about the author s first love And yet, Benson s control of language and craft, her ability to structure essays, and her unabashed honesty in dealing with her own complicated emotions make this a deeply affecting book It takes guts to write about something so familiar and so alien to everyone, and skill to do it well Read it.

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