Breaks my pate across?

Gratefully, I’ve never had my pate broken. Across or lengthwise. I have an unbroken pate for which I am grateful.

I just finished a book, though, in which the protagonist fell down a flight of stairs, (in heels, during the performance of a number from A Chorus Line) and split open her pate. She ends up with a bunch of stitches and eventually a scar.
It’s a testament to the writing of this passage that I feel as though it happened to me, that when searching my memory for possible melon splitting, I thought of this passage.

I stumbled on this book while at the library in search of a book I could read on the subway. I’d never heard of the author or the story but it sounded interesting and fit my criteria of being both a paperback and not terribly heavy to carry around. Sometimes this strategy can yield some real clunkers but this time I stumbled upon a real jewel. The narrator of the story is the daughter to an heiress (chocolate – of the money in the title.) It is dark and shocking and full of pathos. Told in the first person, there are dozens of things that, if observed from the outside, would have been inexplicable but there’s a way that this first person perspective illuminates a mysterious corner of human behavior.

And it’s somehow funny too. It’s like horrifyingly funny or funnily horrifying. The character’s childhood is painful to observe and her teen years almost more so but the author frames it all with such skill that the pain is part of the pleasure of the book. Which is, by the way, one of the themes that emerges.

If you ever had a friend who self harmed or ended up in bizarrely unhealthy relationships, this book might help you understand the link in the chain to this sort of behavior.

I felt like I was looking through a window at something very real but I really shouldn’t be seeing but somehow couldn’t look away from.


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