The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, Heather O’Neill

“Love is like this small room where a child brings you to show you all their treasures. First the child shows you all the new toys that are bright and shiny and top of the line. But then she shows you all the stuff that has ended up at the bottom of the trunk. There are dolls with eyes that wobble, hair that is falling our of their heads, and dirt behind their ears…. You are either going to be disgusted by them, or you are going to be so filled with love for them that your heart almost breaks.”


I was underwhelmed by Lullabies for Little Criminals. That book followed me around in recommendations from friends for years–practically stalked me, seeming to learn about my new places of residence before me–and when I finally read it a year or two ago, I didn’t get much out of it. I think my underwhelmed review of it is on this website somewhere. (I need to dedicate more time to reading, so please pardon me for not hunting out a link.)

So when I heard that Heather O’Neill was releasing a new book, I thought, “Okay, maybe I’ll get to that one day.” And then it started receiving all of the same acclaim as her previous book, and so I kept nudging it up my stack. After watching the Giller ceremony, I placed a hold on it at the library and knew I would read it as soon as the library blessed me with a copy.

As with my last Bookstravaganza book, the length of time it took me to read the book is not a testament of my feelings for it. I am caulking all of the cracks in my life with books, and this is just how long it takes me to finish one.

It didn’t help that I am in love with Nouschka Tremlay and her voice. Her turns of phrase, her perspectives on such everyday concepts (see above), gave me such pause. I would have to look up from my book, stare across the room, and sigh. I cursed the solitary act of reading in all of these moments because I wish I could turn to someone and say, “What do you think of this?” or “How pretty was that?” Perhaps I will take to reading at cafes and to strangers.

In the eight years that has passed since O’Neill wrote her first book, I think she has matured into a writer with a powerful command of the English language, and I eagerly await her next one.

Books read: 4


One response to “The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, Heather O’Neill

  1. I am totally one of those people who go around recommending Lullabies to EVERYBODY. I vividly remember reading it, and I read it like seven years ago. I’m scared to read this one because I don’t think it’ll live up to my expectations.

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