Staring at Lakes: A Not So Interesting Memoir

Staring at Lakes: A Memoir of Love, Melancholy and Magical Thinking - Michael Harding

So, this book. I'm not really sure what to think of it. I often feel guilty or wrong if I read a memoir and end up disliking it. Who am I to judge a work recounting someones life? However, I still think there is a way for those writing memoirs to engage the reader and make themselves relatable, even if the reader has not had similar experiences.

Staring at Lakes didn't do this for me. I've been on a bit of a memoir craze for the past while, and have read some absolutely fantastic books depicting women who have suffered from mental illness and eating disorders. Thankfully, I have never had to grapple with either of these issues, but I still found these books engaging and easily found myself relating to the characters. 

Possibly, I found it difficult to sympathize with Michael Harding because he is a male. I don't know. But I do know that I felt disengaged from the story, and almost annoyed with the man for being so self-centred and selfish. I've read a ton of memoirs about depression and not once did I have this sort of reaction to a character experiencing it. 

I read this book for a book club I'm currently taking part in in Ireland. I found the book mildly interesting, only because it takes place in Ireland and I could identify with many of the places Harding visited. Other than that, this book, unfortunately, just isn't up my alley.

2.5 stars