Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father

Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father
Fairyland by Alysia Abbott is, as the title suggests, a memoir. It is about the author’s experience growing up with a single, bisexual and then later homosexual father in San Francisco just after the sexual revolution.
I don’t usually even glance at memoir, but this one sounded pretty interesting. I guess I expected it to be funny, and while it has some giggly moments, it’s not an all out comedy.
I read to the end of the sample and I would probably have continued if I could have.
Abbott begins with a black humor anecdote about how disobeying her father’s orders at a shirtless gay pool party to which she was dragged along almost caused her to drown at 5 years old. It’s a good beginning and sets a nice ‘wtf?’ tone for a daughter knowing a bit too much about her dad but also allows us to relate; because we’ve all been in a situation where disobedience got us in trouble.
After that we get some exposition. It’s not bad or heavy handed exposition but it comes before the story’s main hook–when Abbott finds an entry in her father’s journals hinting her mother’s death may not have been the accident she was told it was–a good hook. I’m not familiar with the writing rules of memoir, but always hook your readers as soon as possible.
Apart from that, the narrative does a little jumping around early on, but once Abbott find her groove, it follows the passage of time.

I’m not going to purchase this one, but Abbott has something unique to share with the world and her writing is good. I could see this book becoming important to helping some people’s understanding of homosexual and bisuexual lifestyles. Also, it’s a genuine good story.

*UPDATE: You know I just realized I broke my ‘only fiction’ rule for reviewing. I guess I made an unwitting exception since this is a narrative and was the only new release this week which interested me.

Tell me what you think about Abbott’s book in the comments!


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