Do I have to finish reading this book?
I’m halfway through reading a book which shall remain nameless. The book was a gift, and I want to discuss it with the giver. Written by a highly regarded author, it is cleverly constructed and beautifully crafted. However, after reading Girl Woman Other and vicariously living the fraught lives of a multitude of amazing women, I am finding my current read equally exhausting and frustrating. I have just shared a character’s rape, abortion, her teetering on the edge of alcoholism, and now her abusive marriage. There have been the deaths of babies and of children, wartime death and maiming, and the vulnerability of women. It is heartbreaking. When I put the book down, I feel sad and depressed, especially as the nightly news brings us hatred and savagery and the killing of women by their partners.
Instead, I think I will re-read Who We Were by B R Carroll, with its scrumptious cover. There is darkness there too, but it is a delight to see how the author has created a cast of characters – former classmates – with their differing experiences and memories of school days.
Another book which has been sitting on my desk trying to catch my attention is Favel Parrett’s There Was Still Love. There is war behind this story too, but I have heard Favel talk about her book with love and warmth. It will be a welcome relief.
The time to go back and finish the unnamed book may be when life assumes its ‘new normal’.