A Little Life

July 5, 2016

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend! Holiday weekends are pretty much the same as every other weekend here. Although we DID have watermelon for our dessert at lunch yesterday! Yum! 😀

The highlight of the weekend for me was Djokovic losing in the third round at Wimbledon. Not that I dislike Djokovic but I would really love to see Roger Federer win one more Wimbledon and one more Slam. Djoko’s loss clears the way for Roger to get to the finals.

But the real reason I wanted to post today is I recently finished what might be the best book I have ever read (and certainly the best of the 115 books I have read since I have been here): A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (thanks for sending Bridgette Birdie!).

A Little Life is fiction and chronicles the lives of four men who met as college roommates at Yale and how their friendships change over time. The characters are so complex and so rich and the author took me deep into their hearts and minds. I felt like I knew these people and I really cared about them not in spite of, but because of, their flaws. It was adevastating read but also a beautiful and intimate one.

The main character – Jude St. Francis – is unlike any other I have come across in books or movies. When Jude arrives at Yale at the age of 16, he wants nothing more than to forget his past and have a ‘normal’ life and be a ‘normal’ person. The core of the book deals with the joys, frustrations and hopelessness of loving someone who feels he is not worth being loved. It’s also a beautiful portrait of friendship – often from angles I had not considered before.

A word of warning though. This is not the kind of book you can read for 10 minutes before you fall asleep at night. It requires an afternoon at a time without distraction. And if you like books that have happy endings or where everything is nice and tied up by the end, this book is not for you! Also the things that happened to Jude in his childhood and the subsequent outcomes of this in his adult life are graphically detailed. It will rip you apart. But if you are looking for a deeply emotional and completely engrossing experience that will stir levels of compassion you weren’t even aware of, this is the book for you!

I love my friends dearly. You know who you are and that you mean the world to me!

David

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