Disgusting, disturbed, gross, horrifying, insane, weird, wonderful. There are many ways I would describe Diary, these are just a few. For anyone who has read Palahniuk before, this probably comes as no surprise. I did enjoy this book, but was also definitely put off by it. If I were to recommend it, it would be with great CAUTION. Know what you are getting into before you read it.
I don’t want to give anything away, so I will do my best to avoid spoiling any major plot points for those I haven’t scared away from reading this novel.
This book is set up as the diary of a middle aged woman named Misty Marie (Kleinman) Wilmot. She went to art school, met Peter Wilmot, her future husband, and dropped out when she got pregnant. They moved to Peter’s hometown of Waytansea Island. This is almost a dream for Misty — she has always been painting and imagining living in a wonderfully big, beautiful house. She was attracted to Peter’s ‘old’ wealth and his strange jewelry — big brooches and necklaces made of fake sparkling rubies and diamonds.
However, where the diary starts off, Misty is miserable. Her husband tried to kill himself, and failed. He is now in a coma, which leaves her with lots of debt, a low-end job at the Waytansea Hotel, a young daughter, Tabbi, and Peter’s mother to take care of. This lends a bitter tone to the novel. Waytansea Island is running out of money, all the old money is not going to last for much longer, and Misty is not dealing with it well. As she says, ”A couple drinks. A couple aspirin. Repeat.” It really is a miserable, bitter, almost angry (although Misty is a little too cowardly to be angry) book.
I think that’s where I can’t go any further. I will say that this novel is riveting. I could barely put it down, I was so interested in finding out what happened to Misty and why Peter had written mysterious, threatening messages on all the summer homes he dry-walled. Diary draws you in and doesn’t let you go until the very end.
Again, I would only recommend this a huge caution sign. If you don’t like strange books, if you don’t like Palahniuk, if you don’t like conspiracy theories, if you don’t like hearing about bodily functions, if you don’t… I could go on… then be warned that this book might not be for you. For anyone who this doesn’t apply to, or who likes to read books that challenge their views, then this IS for you! I personally enjoyed it quite a bit. Although it grossed me out on occasion, that didn’t bother me or deter me from finishing. The story is so compelling that even if I was disturbed, I could not stop myself from finishing.