As a raggedy child of the 1970s in the liberal northwest, author Claire Dederer found herself steering life by way of drifting, a method using random hazard and profound reflection as the tools for guidance. In Love and Trouble she writes about her life at middle age and compares it with herself as a young woman with the repeated observation that she is reverting back to the craptastic – her word – girl she was. She had a few vices, and she wants them back.
Her writing is clear and precise, and she’s candid and funny. Most remarkably, she avoids sugar coating age. If you’re looking for a memoir about aging that adheres to the common platitude that with it comes insight, you won’t find it here in the way you expect. Dererer's publisher suggested that people will need to know why she behaved the way she did. Dederer tells us that there isn’t an explanation that will tidy up her life for readers, unless we were to accept the truth – that she did what she did because she wanted to do it. No blame and no apologies!