I read In the Dream House, not only because I loved Machado’s short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, but also because I was drawn to the subject: the analysis of the emotional chaos caused by an abusive relationship.
“You have forgotten that leaving is an option.”
Machado’s writing is clever, poetic at times, and sharp when it needs to be. The structure of her memoir in very short chapters is the perfect vehicle to tell a personal tale and also dissect the mechanism inherent in the abuse of women (by women.) How does a victim let it happen?
“You realize how sympathy and antagonism can coexist. You are discovering how many seemingly incompatible emotions can thrive, side by side, in the same human heart.”
The multitude of references to popular motives in folk tales—about breaking taboos for example—made this memoir even more insightful.
I was hooked after the first few chapters and recommend this book to anyone interested in twisted love and its presence in our culture.