(69)Toil & Trouble by Augusten Burroughs

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Augusten Burroughs is back with a new book and he has made a shocking declaration.  He is a witch.  His mother told him when he was a child that he was a witch.  He comes from a long line of witches. Growing up knowing that he is a wich presents some challenges, but it also explains the unexplainable.  Like preparing for evacuation from Hurricane Sandy, despite not seeing the news.  He just knew that they needed to not be home.   He hasn't told anybody, except his husband, Christopher, that he was a witch, for good reason. What would you think if somebody told you that they were a witch?  Now they have left the safety of their New York City lives and have moved to the country, where they encounter people who see Augusten for who he really is.  They found an old farmhouse that was calling to them.  And Augusten knew that it was going to be their home from the first time he saw it.  And despite his personal objections, he just knew that the puppy flirting with his husband was going to come home with them.   Moving to the country introduces them to some new quirky, hilarious characters, like their new neighbor, Vivi, and their new handyman, Eddie. With each chapter, Augusten lays out evidence that can only be explained by the fact that he is a witch.

It was the cover of Toil & Trouble that struck my fancy, but I was absolutely delighted to find an engaging, hilarious, and even scary book.  I know, I know, I am late to the Augusten Burroughs fan club, but in my defense, I absolutely regret my tardiness.  I found myself laughing quite loudly more than once while reading this book. I think the chapter where we are introduced to Eddie, the handyman, was probably my favorite chapter. It was not what I expected, their relationship ended up turning into one of mutual respect.  There were other quirky characters introduced that seemed too goofy to be real, but those are also the ones that the reader just knew weren't fictional. While reading this book I found myself going to social media to "see" what Augusten and Christopher looked like.  I also purchased his entire blacklist.  I enjoyed it that much.  I enjoyed it so much I have added it to my "Best of 2019" list.

Bottom Line - Not only is Toil & Trouble a funny and insightful memoir but with all of the talk of witchcraft, it is the perfect read for this Halloween season.


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