I read this book about two weeks ago.
To tell you the truth, I don’t know how she did it.
I’m only telling you this, of course, because I do think you should read this book, and the only reason I’m telling you now is because it’s FREE today and tomorrow for Kindle (and if you don’t have a Kindle then you can download the app for your smartphone/tablet/computer…and if you don’t have one of those then you’re probably Sonya. I’m sorry Son. I’ll buy you a copy), and because sometimes you read a book that impacts you so profoundly that you just don’t have any words for a little while, and the best you can do is store the memory of it somewhere in the front space of your brain so that you can process it when you do have the words, or maybe so you can grow into the memory of it.
Or something like that.
But I don’t know how she did it still, and that’s a little weird.
When I started reading this book I was cautious, suspicious even. I knew enough about the story from the blurb – teenager kidnaps kid brother and sister from orphanage and hightails them across the country to go seek refuge with estranged family – to already think that she’d get it wrong, even before I started reading it.
What I didn’t expect was this: that this writer, that this woman I’d never met, that I know mainly from reading her blog posts, would somehow know not only what it felt like to be me, but know strange details of my life, things so oddly unimportant to me that I’d never talk about them. Yet because she wrote them they became important to me. Because she wrote them she made me think through things that had happened many, many years ago, and then she turned them around and ever so gently peeled back a layer and showed me the other side. You can’t talk about experiences like that, not really. Not in public, when it’s only been a few short weeks since the book finished. Not when the memory of the book is still so fresh, and when I still feel like I need to grow into it.
I don’t know how she did it. I don’t know how she wrote a book so busting with life and truth and colour that I stopped thinking of it as a book and started thinking of it as a window into my family. I wish she’d got it wrong. I wish she’d written an awful book, full of awful clichés and stupid saccharine endings, because then I’d smile nicely and hate it and never have to think about it again.
It’s never that easy though. Not when art meets life.
So I’m not going to tell you about this book today, or at least I’m not going to tell you anything more than that it’s FREE, and that it’s very, very good. All the rest you can find out for yourself. Click the link. It’ll take you straight there. But don’t say I didn’t warn you…
I’ll download it for my computer. It may be awhile until I have the nerve to read it, though.
My family was wildly dysfunctional, and even a relatively mild book like Nicholas Sparks’ story of a trip with his brother was something that hurt too much to finish.
Art opening a window onto life – my life – is hard to look through.
But, perhaps, necessary.
Read it only if it feels right to do so Andrew, there’s no other way.
I understand your reluctance. There are books that I simply can’t read as well, and books that I’ve hurled across the room because they’ve dared tread on the painful spots in my heart.
And every so often a book comes along that treads there very gently, and lifts you a little bit along with it to start a new part of the healing process. Books are funny things like that. And somewhat dangerous…