Updated: Dec 27, 2019
Toil & Trouble by Augusten Burroughs is a collection of personal essays about Burroughs’ current life with his husband and about being a witch. Burroughs, who has known about his witchiness since he was a child, comes from a long line of witches...if being a witch is mostly listening to your gut and being able to find lost items. Some of his family embrace(d) their magical traits while some, in true Robison family style, have denied their abilities in sometimes dramatic ways.
If you’ve read Burroughs’ other books (Running with Scissors, A Wolf at the Table), you will know that queasy feeling of being entertained and yet...disturbed. I have read most of Burroughs books, and I was pleased to find this the most uplifting book of his, by far.
Like most essayists, it is difficult to tell how much of what is written is actual fact and what is storytelling done Augusten-style. BUT I ALSO DON’T CARE. While this book does talk about the supernatural, the real magic comes from the relationships with his husband, their dogs, the neighbors and the kranky handyman. This is a fun read full of kooky characters and genuine love. A real treat.
DID YOU KNOW: Augesten’s brother is also a writer. John Elder Robison’s book, Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's, is FANTASTIC. It’s also fascinating to read about the lives of these two boys, each from his own perspective. You should read it, too.
Rating: 80/100 or ⭐⭐⭐⭐