Can you believe it? After nearly 5 long, glorious months, the Brunette has returned with her Book Club. That is right, I have spent hours scrutinizing every inch of the Barnes & Noble book racks in search of a book that combines a little bit of cliche romance, and a message you carry with you well after you have read the last page. And, I think I’ve found the perfect one. I don’t know about you, but I feel like authors have recently been shifting their romantic appeal towards real love stories. Love stories that don’t look like they’ve been ripped from the hands of Hollywood and slapped onto a few pages. I like a good love story with meaning, and depth. Also, one that simply isn’t perfect. One where both characters grow as a result of bettering each other. It’s a tall order, believe me. But the idea of ‘unconditional love’ is different among everyone. Love is no longer portrayed as a one-size-fits-all standard, and to me, The Memory Of Things perfectly encapsulates the idea of discovering imperfection and beauty in times of crisis and healing.
Kyle Donahue thought he’d seen it all, until one of the ugliest days in modern history proved him wrong. In the middle of crisis stricken downtown Manhattan, on 9/11, Kyle stumbles upon a girl crumpled among the chaos of the Brooklyn Bridge. In a split second-he makes a decision to bring this girl home with him. He doesn’t know her name, or anything about her, but something indescribable draws him to this girl-this girl wearing a pair of feathery costume wings on her back and smears of mascara crawling down her cheeks. As they spend more time with each other, they learn how healing is the first, yet hardest step to loving. This novel truly sets the stage for all novels moving forward, and a story that will remain a classic well past this blog post.
This book really resonated with me at a time like this. I don’t remember anything about, nor was I alive during 9/11, but like I mentioned in The Power of Quiet blog post, my infatuation with knowing how people felt once the news broke, what they did, what they were doing that day, you get my point, overrode people’s capacity to comprehend the emotions I was shoving in front of them to deal with, right then and there. But between the layers of my unfiltered, chaotic can of thoughts that looked as if it could have upstaged one of Jackson Pollock’s masterpieces, I somehow missed details. I only ever saw this day as the picture it was painted as, never the individual strokes it was comprised of. Right now, being just a citizen, has pried my eyes open to an entirely new world we’ve become since that time. At this very second, the media has never been more a part of our lives. But Gae Polisner took a step aside from the hubbub, and offered a beautiful story up for the world. It was the type of book where when I read the last word, I shut the book, and said to myself, This was exactly what I need. She illustrates the thoughts and emotions of both characters so impeccably, all in the middle of a national crisis. By guiding us into one of those strokes, among billions, the story summed up how healing and loving can peacefully coincide, and be found in uncommon places. Love is certainly a mystery, a case I have yet to crack. But maybe it’s for the best that it never is. If I’ve learned anything in the short life I’ve led so far, is that allowing yourself to be okay with what is happening right now, is sometimes what we need to look toward the future. This book beyond amazes me. The thought that went into each word has left my jaw dropped, with no plans of closing. This is an excellent read, and a good step away from the ‘right now’ portion of your life. Let me know in the comments below if you have read this book, what you thought of it, or if you have embarked on any particularly good reads recently.
~The Legally Brunette