I finished reading American Housewife by Helen Ellis about three days ago and when I sat down to write my review realised that I couldn’t remember a thing about the book. Not a good sign, although I did like the book well enough while I was reading it. I love the cover though, with the classic red, white and blue colour combination, the stars and stripes and the winking housewife with her glamorous 1940’s rolled hairstyle.
Flicking back through the book reminded me that American Housewife was a collection of short stories. They were all fast reads, clever enough and entertaining at the time, but not one of them left me with a new idea or a moral ambiguity to ponder on later.
The back page said that the author has one of those wildly successful Twitter things, called @WhatIDoAllDay, which I’ve never seen or heard of because I don’t ‘do’ those Twitter things.
My understanding of those Twitter things is that you pass a comment in text about whatever you are thinking when you think it, exactly as you would to someone you were actually with, then, 4000 people read your comment and immediately say something back to you in text. In real life you would need to spend a large proportion of the day answering each of the people who answered your initial remark until one of you was able to bring the conversation to a polite close, but I don’t believe that happens in those Twitter things, instead, you say your thing and forget all about it, ignoring whatever everyone else says in return.
Come to think of it, I expect this Twitter thing was invented by a housewife somewhere whose husband never listens because he is watching football or a car show on the television and not listening to whatever she was ‘twittering’ on about… (Don’t tell me if I’m wrong, I like my version of the invention of Twitter better).