Delicate, intelligent, and conscientiously slight ... It’s precisely because Joy Enough is about what women must do and be to survive the ongoing epidemic of toxic masculinity (i.e., Western Civilization) that men should feel compelled to read this book and absorb, yes, its lesson ... McColl’s genius is perhaps the recognition that however anxious we might be, the best way to remember a parent is to be true to the sticky moral residue they leave behind.
McColl delivers thoughtful and finely crafted prose to vivify this emotionally intense relationship. From time to time, her writing becomes obscure as she tries to make sense of herself and Allison ... McColl may have her linguistic surfeits, but she should be applauded for unstinting efforts to put her heart on the page.
... exquisite ... But this isn’t a book powered by plot. Instead, McColl’s gift is in distilling a lifetime — the relationships, hopes nurtured then dashed, joys still sought, even at life’s end — into vignettes of great beauty, ordinary moments held up for loving examination ... Joy Enough is a slim book that feels expansive, both in its ideas and its spirit. The pleasure is in the closely observed, deeply felt moments between mother and daughter. If the book has a misstep, it’s in a section introducing friends and describing a group vacation — not because the writing here is anything less than lovely, but because our attention doesn’t want to leave the duo of Allison and Sarah.