Happy Sunday, everyone! (Or Monday, for those of you further east, in which case, sweet dreams.)
Hope it’s been a lovely one so far. I finished a book today and I thought I would share with you the review I posted on Goodreads. Feel free to find me there! Cara’s Goodreads
Three things highly untypical of me:
1) Spending the better portion of the afternoon in bed reading a book. (I prefer reading at night.)
2) Suddenly being possessed by the urge for a cup of good tea. (I am a coffee drinker, like religion.)
3) Losing myself in a book.
Rather than a parenthetical explanation, I think I should elaborate on that last one. As a writer, I cannot read a good book without simultaneously contemplating what is making it good; nor can I simply overlook the problems with a poorly written novel. I suppose it would be like a doctor watching an episode of Scrubs and not noticing every little detail about the operation, what he approved of or didn’t.
I can’t help but wonder how other Believing readers have received this book. I fear the delicacy with which Moyes crafted Me Before You could perhaps be dismissed or condescended when tossed against a finite mind and its unwavering attitudes. I am a believer, you see. I love Jesus Christ with all my heart, soul, and mind, and if it were me in Will Traynor’s position, well, honestly, I don’t know. I don’t know what I would do. I’d like to say that with those I love by my side and the resolve that I am loved and deeply cared for by an involved God, I would persevere despite any grave setbacks. I’d like to say that, but I don’t know for sure. I consider my life an open book, so I feel no modesty in sharing with you that I experienced a brief, though intense, medical stint in early 13, in which nearly the entirety of my quality of life was destroyed. Reduced to zero. I lay awake at night, paralyzed by insomnia and anxiety, unable to dim the constant pain even with sleep. I spent my days sobbing in bed or quietly staring out the front window, wondering if those beyond were really appreciating the life they were living. And while that went on, I can’t say there weren’t a few times that, while standing in my kitchen slicing an apple, I didn’t glance down at my wrists and see them in a way I never had before, in a way I couldn’t have as a well person. Through my ill eyes, I saw my wrists as fragile yet powerful, within them lying the power to bring me life, or take it away . . . It was a dark, difficult time, by which I am forever changed, and I suppose, truly, this is what allowed me to connect with this book at the level I did.
And for me, the biggest thing is that I don’t ever feel the need to defend my faith. It would be like defending that I am here, existing. It just IS. It is me. Me is it. I know what I have is something Good. I know I am who I am because of that something, that Someone. However, this personal truth is mine. Would I like to share it, explain it to someone curious or interested or offended? Yes, of course. I think we should always, always be taking about what angers and frightens us. Healthier that way. But I’m not a foister. It would be like trying to share my Most Amazing Plate of Spaghetti with someone allergic to tomatoes. They don’t want it, okay? Take your marinara and scat.
So, I hope the content and nature of this incredibly well-told story will not be a deterrent to those ***spoiler*** strongly opposed to ending a comprised life. The issue at hand is quality of life, and I think it was handled deftly, brilliantly, intimately, and objectively.
Continuing on spoiler free . . .
But as I was saying, I don’t very often lose myself in a book, good or bad. I am attuned and aware of my reading a book from the perspective of a reader just as much as I am doing so as a writer. That said, I lost myself there at the end. I stopped admiring the lovely descriptions, the careful turn of phrase, witty quips and realistic conversations, and I just became one hundred percent ENGAGED. I did not cry, but it took conscious effort not to. Mainly I focused on the headache following a long reading sob, but there were a few close calls when I felt the pressure mounting, right there between my eyes, and I just had to keep going.
I understand that this is not a proper review, so I am sorry if you set out reading thinking it would be. I don’t write proper reviews; nor do I write proper books. But what I will say is this: if you want to be locked up inside a book so cleverly narrated and vividly alive, then read this book. While you’re at it, read mine too!
Oh, you know me too well . . . I couldn’t resist creating a cast! And although these characters might have been described differently to me, this is how I chose to see them. The beauty of a book, I daresay. Maybe don’t look though if you like creating your own casts.