Weekend Reads: “Too Much”

Too Much: How Victorian Constraints Still Bind Women TodayToo Much: How Victorian Constraints Still Bind Women Today by Rachel Vorona Cote

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The day that I read an excerpt from this book, wherein the author talks about the Ramona books, I cried. I am not exaggerating. She describes how Ramona, whom I adored as a child, is larger than life — and how this challenges the people around her.

I cried because I’ve been called “too much,” “larger than life,” and more, for as long as I can remember. “Pipe down!” was constantly aimed in my direction. Another friend says that I emote like Niagara Falls.

I knew I had to read this book.

In it, I found a series of essays about Too Muchness across areas like sex, food, mental health, and more. I spent so much time nodding, understanding just what the author meant. Society seems to think that women shouldn’t take up any space across a variety of realms, and this is stultifying to those who are not the self-effacing sorts.

No two people are alike, and trying to contain someone’s “muchness” (as Lewis Carroll called it) can be painful for the Too Much person. That’s what the author gets across with tremendous clarity, in no small part by examining her own Too Muchness in a way that helps us truly understand it both from the inside and the outside.

Highly recommended.

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