Let me first say that I don’t like short stories. I find them to be abrupt and disappointing. I guess you can say my opinion on short stories is pretty exact when it comes to You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld.
This book is a collection of short stories which mostly centred around middle-aged people who are relatively unhappy with their lives, and I’d go so far to say they even think they’re past their prime too. While the writing of the short stories are mildly fascinating, I honestly couldn’t understand what the point of them were.
For the most part the stories revolved around people who are nostalgic for their youth, were envious of others, or of those who’d grown bitter and regretful. I couldn’t pity or feel sadness for these characters – what I really felt was disgust. Most of the stories are rather shameful or shocking. Since these are short stories, I have to wonder if I would have enjoyed them had they been more fleshed out and given more time. But that would have defeated the purpose of short stories; they’re abrupt and almost unfinished.
I had one short story that I enjoyed, Prairie Wife. This is about a woman who enjoys spite watching a YouTube influencer, and fantasies about ruining her career. At first, you think it might be her jealousy seeping out, but then you find out the influencer has marked herself as a farm-to-table, ideal evangelical Stepford Wife. That doesn’t sit well with the other woman because she knows first-hand that said influencer is a lesbian because they had been together when they were younger. I found the ending to be uplifting and enjoyable, more so than I expected!
As I was reading this book I really had to question if Curtis Sittenfeld saw so little of the world and had thought humanity was so bleak? I’m a cynic as much as the next person, but these stories were so shallow and petty — I seriously felt vacant reading them. This book really wasn’t my cup of tea.
In all honesty, the only reason I read this book is because it is part of my Girly Book Club. I sometimes question who voted on the books we read. There are some months a book is chosen that I never would have picked and am pleasantly surprised. This is not one of those months. When it comes to August’s Girly Book Club choice You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld I’m very disappointed. The only thing this book has going for it is it is a very quick read. But then again, it’s short stories. How long could you expect a group of poorly written stories to be? I’d shelve this one, and not pick it back up!