I don't generally read memoirs, but when I got a copy of this book and flipped through it I knew it was going to be something different. And having read Machado before I also knew it would be beautifully written. What I got was something so astonishingly brilliant, so unique, so gorgeous, so visceral, so undeniably raw, it broke my heart and mended it in equal measure. This book absolutely blew me away.
Look, I don't gush very often. I don't give out many 5 star reviews. But this book is an absolute 10 out of 10 for me. This is, primarily, a book chronicling an abusive relationship, but it is also so much more. It is queer history and essays. It uses movies, books, pop culture, and various other forms of media as reflection and allegory. It is a haunted house story, because domestic abuse is the ultimate gothic haunting. It is personal. It is analytical. It is an examination and an excavation. It is a little bit of everything, and yet it is so very much a unified whole.
I also have to say that I have never read a book that echoed my own experiences of abuse as much as this one - the details are different but breath for breath it was so very much the same. The moments and feelings that are so difficult to describe so perfectly worded. This book is True. And if you are a survivor you will likely find pieces of your own story here, told in such clarity you will have to remember to breathe.
This book is a masterpiece, and I owe a piece of my heart to Machado for writing it. If you are even remotely curious about this book pick it up. Read it. Experience it. It is worth your time and attention, and you will be changed, even if only for an afternoon, by doing so.
And if you are out there reading this, Carmen, I believe you. Anyone who has lived in their own Dream House who reads this believes you. It is impossible not to.