Review: At Wit's End

At Wit's EndAt Wit's End by Erma Bombeck

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At Wit's End / 0449211843

As a child, I picked up several of Erma Bombeck's books at a used bookstore and read them again and again. Picking up At Wit's End was like returning to the home of an old friend where everything is comforting and familiar, and you can laugh at old jokes together. I was delighted to see that this kindle edition retains the artwork from the paper version, all of which I remembered with fondness.

Most of the essays here are still very very funny. There are times when Erma dips more deeply into sentiment for me than I want from my humor books--the deep sorrow she feels as time passes and her children age hits too close to home and I read those parts very quickly to get through them--but obviously this comes down to personal taste. There's an undercurrent here that I didn't remember from childhood of, hmm, holding men to lower standards than I'm comfortable in my current feminist life, which just shows how far we've come (yay) but made me profoundly sorry to Erma for some of the stuff she felt she had to put up with (boo). If buying this for a young person, expect to have to explain a LOT about the outdated language, the setting, and the culture it was coming from.

I'm happy to have this in my collection, but it's hard to say if I'd ever read it again. Maybe I might just pull it out from time to time to give my 'old friend' a hug.

~ Ana Mardoll


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