Black’s voice is confident and her turns of phrase spot-on. Furthermore, the book is surprisingly humorous given its subject matter. Black comes across as someone determined to see the bright side of even the worst situations. In terms of narrative arc, there’s some fragmentation between chapters that keeps this work from feeling like a traditional memoir ... The book also reads more as a collection of linked short stories than a series of chapters, in part because Black alternates between first and second person. This shift might bother someone wanting a clear beginning-to-end trajectory, but I personally didn’t find it that jarring ... You’ve Been So Lucky Already is a succinct, interesting, and inspiring read for anyone wondering what to do when life gives you a bunch of puzzle pieces that don’t seem to fit together.
By recounting her travails in a conversational tone, and relegating most of the people in her life to nameless figures—the boyfriend, for instance, is known only as 'The Last of the Last Great Men'—she borrows from popular single-lady conventions to turn the frown of bad fortune upside down. Conceivably the book’s indifference to exact details is a result of its unorthodox DNA ... among the 26 short chapters are tales that Black performed at various Moth story slams...in some instances nearly word for word. Did interweaving these anecdotes with (presumably) fresh new material written for the page, not the stage, make her lose sight of what a solitary reader requires in order to follow and feel immersed in a stranger’s story? ... Then again, it’s also possible that the narrative disjointedness is intentional, a dramatization of her theory that, as she states in the opening section, 'time is a lie' ... Whatever the cause of the lack of cohesion, it would be perfectly unobjectionable, and even less detectable, were the emotional trajectory more persuasive. Instead, the reader is left with the unwelcome sensation that Black’s journey to become what she calls 'a woman on fire' is little more than a strategic attempt to shoehorn a series of experiences into a suitably fashionable stance for a contemporary memoir.
Though at times overly disjointed, the book still succeeds in offering a candid depiction of a woman’s struggle with her own vulnerabilities as she seeks to understand the 'pile of terrifyingly beautiful rubble' left in the wake of all her struggles. Flawed but no less poignant for its imperfections.