Monday, July 18, 2011

The Books We Choose

For $3.98 I picked up Chris Cleave's Incendiary at my local Half Price Books. Why? The back cover reads:

You aren't stupid. You know there's no such thing as a perfect mother. Plenty of other books will tell you there is, but this one won't lie to you.  I was weak and I cheated and I was punished, but my god I loved my child through all of it. Love means you never break, and it means you're stronger than the things they do to you. I know this is true because I have been through fire, I am the proof that love survives. I am not a perfect mother but I will tell you the perfect truth, because this is you and me talking. This is my story. 

No, I can't relate to all of it, but some of it yes. The love I have for my son. The realization that I'm not perfect as his mother. The faith in love.

But this book is nothing like what I expected. It might turn out to be the saddest book I've read (and remember I did that whole genocide literature circle unit--yes, a crapton of really sad stories!).  I don't know what I expected really as I had no sense of the narrative when I started, but there is loss at the hands of the worst terrorist of our times.

The conversational writing style is drawing me closer to the narrator instead of annoying me, and although my life is completely different, I'm journeying right alongside this mother.

PS--When Googling to find a picture, I realize the book was made into a film in 2008. This, my friends, does NOT excuse you from reading it! Grab a snuggie, a copy of this book, a glass of wine, and get to it.

AND small literary world! Chris Cleave. I knew I knew that name. He's the author of another fave that I have, in fact, blogged about: Little Bee!

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