Saturday, October 06, 2012

Art is imitating my life

Sometimes reading a novel that mirrors my life is not the escape that I want it to be. However, as I said in my review of The Sweetness of Forgetting, the similarities between my life and the characters in this novel were so striking, and helped me connect with them right away, as one would with a new friend.
"This isn't up for debate, Annie," I say. "Do it now, or you're grounded." I hear the coldness in my voice. . . .For a minute, I hate myself, but I stare Annie down, unblinking. She looks away first, "Whatever!"
The Sweetness of Forgetting page 8
I have a teenage daughter, and though she doesn't often verbalize the "Whatever," I know she's thinking it. Annie is still in middle school, and I definitely remember those struggles with Amanda at that age. at 14, I do think that Amanda and I have more of a good understanding of each other (Is that just me, or did you find early adolescence to be more of a challenge?).
"Where is your mother?" Rose asked Hope politely. "Is she coming, dear?" "My mom -- Josephine -- died," Hope said gently. "Two years ago, Mamie. Don't you remember?"
The Sweetness of Forgetting, page 28
Unfortunately, this is a very familiar situation. My grandmother reverts to topics we generally cover: "How's your family? Have you talked to your sister? Have you seen your mother?" And since mom passed away two months ago, I have to remind her of the fact. Fortunately, my reminder jogs her memory, and she's not reliving it all over again (unlike her brother's funeral which she's been telling me was "yesterday," each time I've seen her over the last few weeks, when in fact it was many years ago). There were many more things that made The Sweetness of Forgetting a great read. Click through to read my full review, and there's even a giveaway.


morninglight mama said...

Wow, those are certainly several themes with which you can relate right about now. I'm glad to get the sense that the author handled them well enough that you still enjoyed the reading!

Sarah Roap said...

WOW! This is my first time to visit your blog and it is awesome! Thank you so much for writing this post, it was wonderful!

-Sarah Roap

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

It is strange when what we're reading lines up so perfectly with what we're living... But I also think it can be cathartic -- as if the characters somehow help process things for us.

I'm pretty sure I still get "whatever" thoughts thrown my way, but we're working on our communication and I think we are improving. Then sometimes I think, he's only 14. My personal peak of parentally-aimed grouchiness hit around 16 or 17... hoping we avoid that here somehow. :)