Just finished reading a memoir by a woman who was raised by a mother who was a serial adulteress and fertility rabbit, as well as pill addict. The writing had depth. Some stylish phrasing here and there. A good feel for place and time.  But I felt as if I were reading something I shouldn't. Dirty, almost. A peep show I emphatically didn't want to see. Stories I'd rather not hear.

A well known author touted the book on its cover. Since I like that author, I thought I'd take a chance. Wish I hadn't. The Southern girl in me was raised to keep the family dirty laundry in the tub. One did not, never, ever, disclose family members to public shame and judgment. That's what this memoir did.

I understand, intellectually, coming to terms with a "difficult" upbringing, though mine was anything but.  This memoir was, as the saying goes, probably cathartic. But really? Do you have to publish this expose' about your family? Trashy is as trashy does. Sorry, but I feel sorry for the author's family. They didn't have a choice about this memoir, and I just hope they can someday forgive her. Though I'm not sure I would.

If memoirs are to succeed, the stories should be delightful, the characters a joy, and the reader must wish to know these people in real life. Lawrence Durrell's MY FAMILY AND OTHER ANIMALS is a prime example of how to do the job right.

Otherwise, keep it to yourself.