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Saturday, August 29, 2009

"Books let us into their souls, and lay bare for us the secrets of our own"

Last May while traveling in California, I met a stunning woman, named Suzanne. She is the sister of a mutual friend we were traveling with and she was kind enough to entertain all of us for a lovely evening at her home. As we visited she and I talked and talked about books. We created and exchanged reading lists with one another and as I left she actually pulled a book off her shelf and gave it to me, with the caveat that I would email her when I read it and share my thoughts. The book is one of the most complex I have ever read.
It is fabulous and heartbreaking. In fact, I haven't finished reading it yet because I can only read it in small sets of time, otherwise it all seems too much to consider. I can't put my finger on why it is so moving to me yet. It is horrifying and terrible and so relatable at the same time. The characters are deeply flawed, and while I am so dissapointed in their continual bad decisions, I also find myself reading with urgency to see what they will do next.

I am the first to admit that it is never good to blindly recommend a book, and I have not finished it yet. But I am DYING to discuss it with someone. I would choose it for my book club pick, but have a feeling that the conversation about it wouldn't go far with some of the members based on the fact that the book is rooted in the story of Frank Llyod Wright & Mamah Borthwick Cheaney's affair. It is a pretty conservative club and I am just not sure it would go over well. Not that the book makes you an advocate for affairs, like I said, I find myself continually frusterated and disgusted by the decisions the characters make. But the book does bring up a lot of complex, very human emotions that I think should be considered: feminism, a 'woman's place,' maternal love vs. romantic love, self-justification and denial, the way individuals can 'fall' into things, duty, obligation and so much more. Not to mention that the writing is absolutely lovely.

Anyhow - I just read another segment, and the overspill of emotion that resembles something like "what do I do with this" is probably what this post is born out of. I truly am resisting the urge to send out mass emails and texts ordering you all to read it and report your thoughts back to me.


Kim and Sean said...

We were checkin out the blog world as we do on occasion and were very happy to read the news that little linderman is on the way. As it sounds we weren't quite ready but just wait till you hold the little one, all thoughts will change. (well as sean would say until they turn about 2 - then you wonder what were we thinking) I am super excited! Hope your feeling well!! Take care. Kim and Sean

Josh said...

send me a copy and I'll read it...

Jodee said...

I'm checking it out today!