Book Review: “Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?”

I first heard the title of this book at a talk at a writer’s festival, before the book was written. Jeanette Winterson was – is – one of my favourite writers, and as a speaker she didn’t disappoint either. During the talk – which was articulate, engaging, lyrical, witty: a more down-to-earth form of her writing – Jeanette referred to her mother only as “Mrs Winterson,” telling us that the final thing she said to Jeanette, when she left home as a teenager, happily in love with another girl, was: “Why be happy when you could be normal?”
*Trigger warning for references to physical and mental abuse*