Sunday, February 28, 2016

Delaying the End

You can probably tell from my book list over on the right side that I like to read. No, let me rephrase that, not like, love to read. This love started at a very young age and has never waned. It’s unusual for me to start a book and not finish it whether I like the story or not. I feel as though I have made some sort of pact with the author when I read that first page. I can’t always be sure the book is a bummer after reading just a little bit even if it feels that way. I have to keep going, looking for the good stuff. Didn’t someone say, “I never read a book I didn’t like”? I may be mixed up with Will Rogers on that one.

The book I am currently reading is giving me a problem I rarely have. I don’t want to finish the story, and it’s not because I don’t like it. I just don’t want it to end. I’m afraid I may not like the ending, or I may be disappointed by it. I may just start over.

I selected this book because it deals with grief. My husband passed away almost four years ago, and I’ve read zillions of nonfiction about getting through the death of a spouse, but this book I’m reading now is fiction. The nonfictions say the same thing because we are all basically alike in our grief. You read one, you’ve read ‘em all. I’m not sure why I had to read so many to understand that. Most of them depressed me even more than I was and kept death and loss in the forefront of my mind. I should’ve known this would happen. Here are a few of the ones I liked enough to own.

 

But this book I’m reading now is different. To me it seems truer than the nonfiction. I think it may be like the suggestion one gets in a writing class for memoir, to write a difficult portion of your life as a fairytale. It's supposed to make it easier to write and the truth may come out of it, a truth you didn’t know when you started.

I don’t remember how I came across this book. I placed the large print edition on hold at my library and got it rather quickly. The title is A Man Called Ove (proper pronunciation here). The name is Swedish. The author, Fredrik Backman, wrote the book in Swedish. It is his first novel, but since this one he has written two more. An inside page says it was translated by Henning Koch in 2013. I was quite surprised when I discovered Mr. Backman was born in 1981. He is definitely an old soul. I love his answers on this interview, especially about how he wrote his novel.

If you asked me why I like this book, I couldn’t tell you. It’s a feeling I have and that will have to be good enough, for now. The ending may change things, but I think I’m ready.

3/1 - Yep, I knew it. I cried through the last ten pages.

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