Books, Documentaries, Reviews: February 5, 2014
The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
I promised several people I would report back on what I thought about The Goldfinch.
It’s a BIG novel–some 700 pages.
I loved it. I loved every page of it. I was sad to see it finished.
Many themes run through this novel. Some are listed below:
The long-term impact of the sudden, violent loss of the mother for a child.
The long-term impact of being within a sudden, violent episode–being in close proximity of a bomb going off inside a building.
The long-term impact of having an irresponsible parent in charge of you–with no way out really.
The growing up, the life journey to maturity (whatever that is) wherein you come to grips with how much you are like the irresponsible parent you hate and how much you have refused to see that person’s good points.
The role of strangers in our lives–strangers who make a huge difference.
The depth of a friendship forged within situations that neither person can fully control and what is done to survive. Or, to hide and just make it all go away.
The role of art, of a painting, in our lives.
Where is good really located in our lives? And, where evil? And can good come out of bad?
What does it mean to love without judgment?
I could go on. And on.
* * *
So, I am reading Jeffrey Eugenides The Marriage Plot before going to sleep at night. And, enjoying it so far.
Here’s a review: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/16/books/review/the-marriage-plot-by-jeffrey-eugenides-book-review.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
I’m listening to Alice Munro’s Dear Life while I quilt. I started it yesterday afternoon–I had to wait my turn to download it on the Maine Library Systems audio book downloads. I sewed until almost 8 p.m. before stopping to organize some dinner as I was enjoying it so much. I love Munro’s short stories. They are brilliant. And, warrant listening to more than once as they are like a movie, in that the first viewing is an assault and you can’t take it all in, so you have to see the movie–read the story–twice.
Dear Life is the book club’s selection this month–and our meeting is Friday, so I’m going to be sewing a lot today.
While waiting for Dear Life, I downloaded another library audio book: a P.D. James–An Unsuitable Job For A Woman (1972)–one of the Cordella Grey mysteries. The depth of James is a pleasure to read/hear.
Having someone read a book to me recalls the pleasure I felt when my mother read to us growing up–which she did constantly. The all-time favorite was Gene Stratton Porter’s Laddie, which I love to this day. I read it to my mother not long before she died, while she rested on her back porch, and we laughed and pleasured our way through it.