Thursday, September 20, 2007

You must

Because I read so much, so fast, I am quite well-versed at moving on. Books end, books shut. But one book has been positively haunting me since I read it more than a month ago. You might remember that I wasn't so impressed as I read Vendela Vida's Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name. I didn't know where the tale was leading, and the narrative seemed lacking in complexity. The prose was good, but it was all so weird. Intriguingly so, though, and I read to the end. That end. It shocked me, as it was meant to. Not with horror, but with power. Vida took everything I'd ever supposed about fate, family, obligation, story, history, and she turned it on its head. The phrase still resonates: "And when I hear people say that you can't start over, that you cannot escape the past, I would think You can. You must." Nothing else has ever been so wise, and the power of that moves me to tears if I think too hard. Of course you must, and I cannot wait to reread the book, galvinized by its now-inevitable close.