What Erica Should Be Reading To Prep for the Season Finale!

OK kittens, next week is the finale of season two of Being Erica! While this week's episode was a major bridge ep and a bit lacking in action (and by action I mean Erica and Kai horizontal action) the finale promises to be full of everything I love about the show - conflict, decision-making, confession, to-thine-own-self-be-true to the umpteenth degree. What's certain is that Erica is going to need a lot of guidance to get through this rough patch - what with her relationship with Ethan being in question and the whole unemployment thing, not to mention that unfinished list of regrets.

I thought it would be super to suggest a few books for our dear (fictional) friend Erica to read in her time of trouble. What do you think Erica should be reading (or what she should be doing)? Here are some of my suggestions, novels that worked for me in times of confusion:

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden: A classic tale of mental illness. Though people typically cite The Bell Jar as the go-to book but I found Rose Garden to be wiser. Sixteen year old Deborah makes up a fantasy land called Yr to escape her troubles but falls in too deep and is diagnosed with schizophrenia. She spends three years in a mental hospital and through her brave and determined fight (and the help of a devoted psychiatrist) she sets herself on the path to recovery. Life may rarely smell as sweet as roses but it is still always worth fighting for.
The Summer Before the Dark: Surprisingly not available on Amazon but I bet you can find a copy, like I did, at a local second hand shop. Kate is 45 years old and has devoted most of her life to caring for her husband and children. Unwilling to waste one moment further, she sets out to rediscover herself. She earns her own living, has an affair with a younger man and sees the world through the eyes of a younger woman who is just starting her life. Author Doris Lessing, as always, pinpoints female desire and thought in a way that is entirely convincing and compelling.

Jane Eyre: I know I know that this book is considered anti-feminist sap. But folks, sometimes a person just needs to remember that unconditional love does exist (or has the potential to). And that while great risks may need to be undertaken to attain said love, the payoff is always sublime. Le sighhhh.

A Million Little Pieces: I read this book at a time in my life when I felt no better than a piece of gum stamped into a shoe. This novel felt like one long SCREAM, one long ROAR, much like: I know that life, you are full of bullshit, heartbreak, things that are so difficult, so putrid, so vile that I feel that I cannot bear to think of them, much less stand up to them, but I also know that the potential for utter beauty, for a sort of total joy that flashes over me and awakens me to something greater within myself, maybe within another person too, well it is there, and so I stand, and so I fight, and so I carry on. It said that to me and I peeled myself off that boot and I did what I had to do to soldier on.
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Once in a lifetime I hope you too are mired in a love affair that is so trasgressive that it lands you in a world of trouble and yet so wonderful that you see every leaf on every tree, your morning coffee has a smell that is an intoxicating as a late summer rose garden and the slightest touch is an unearthly thrill. If you're not had one, even if you're long done with these wild things, it pays to remember what it's like to feel so intensely (and intelligently, we're not talking twee romance here).


Luanne said...

You are so inventive with your posts B.

And this post easily identifies you as a Canuck. Does Being Erica even show outside of Canada?

B.Kienapple said...

Hi Luanne! My focus on Canadiana tends to get a little intense sometimes. But Being Erica DOES air on the Soap network in the US and someone told me they saw it in the UK too so...AND all of the eps are available online at cbc.ca/beingerica (CBC seriously, you need to start paying me to plug this show).


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