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She Got Up Off the Couch: And Other Heroic Acts from Mooreland, Indianaby Haven Kimmel
Synopses & Reviews
The # 1 New York Times bestseller A Girl Named Zippy was a rare and welcome treat: a memoir of a happy childhood. Spunky, strong-willed, and too smart for her own good, Zippy Jarvis brought readers delight and joy. In She Got Up Off the Couch, Haven Kimmel invites us to rejoin the quirky and hilarious Jarvis family saga. Zippy is growing up and struggling with both her hair and her distaste for shoes. But this memoir strikes a deeper and more emotional chord, as now Kimmel shines the spotlight on her remarkable mother, Delonda. Courageous and steadfast, Delonda finally realized that she could change her life, and she got up off the funky couch in the den, bought a beat-up flower power VW bug (and then learned to drive it), and went back to school, which gave her the chance to gain both financial independence and, at long last, self-respect.
A true pleasure for old fans and new ones alike, She Got Up Off the Couch is a gorgeous encapsulation of an innocent time when a child didn't understand that her mother was depressed or felt stifled, but just noted on her way out the door that Delonda was a fixture in the living room. Kimmel captures the seminal moments of her mother's burgeoning empowerment with the full strength of her distinctive, deft storytelling, and with the overflowing sense of humor that made A Girl Named Zippy a favorite of readers everywhere.
"This sequel to A Girl Named Zippy charts the continuing escapades of adolescent Zippy in tiny Mooreland, Ind., putting special emphasis on the liberation, via a college education, of her mother, Delonda Jarvis. With stories ranging from Zippy's run-in with a territorial cow on a friend's farm to 'A Short List of Records My Father Threatened to Break Over My Head If I Played Them One More Time,' Kimmel's Twainish tone deepens into a more modern type of despair as the problems of her parents' marriage become pronounced. By learning to drive, getting a bachelor's degree and becoming a teacher to support her family, Delonda expands her potential, mirroring the growing possibilities for women in the post-'60s era. Meanwhile, Zippy's father begrudges Delonda these few freedoms, while still failing to provide adequately for his family and flirting with adultery. Kimmel has a distinct voice and introduces quirky characters, but even better, she goes beyond memoir to explore the anxiety inherent in the shifting of traditional family and gender roles common to her generation. She draws readers in with her easygoing manner and ability to entertain, but surprises with a bittersweet paean to childhood navet and an arresting account of a family's disintegration." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Kimmel is at her best when things get more complicated toward the bittersweet end, as Zippy learns you can be happy and profoundly sad at the same time. (Grade: A-)" Entertainment Weekly
"[A] wry, wistful sequel....Kimmel deftly blends mordant humor and malaise in this tale of personal triumph in a tiny midwestern town." Booklist (Starred Review)
"A thoroughly amusing, deeply affectionate yet often inherently sad story....Kimmel has caught time in a bottle beautifully...and her engagingly conversational style...makes this a story you hear as much as read." Hartford Courant
"[H]ilarious and heartbreaking....Kimmel hints at rather than reveals the family tensions in these essays...which are destined to make readers fall in love with Zippy all over again." Library Journal
Kimmel's powerful storytelling is in evidence in this riveting continuation of Zippy's childhood--a story of risk-taking, motherly love, and small-town heroism. The author introduces new friends as readers put together the puzzle of Zippy's life as she works out what is happening to her nuclear family.
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