Saturday, August 27, 2011

Coming Up for Air

By Patti Callahan Henry

From the back of the book:

In this breathtaking novel, one woman’s search for truth after her mother’s death brings her to a mysterious house on a bay – and face-to-face with an ex-boyfriend who opens a window onto her past …

Just my opinion:

Intense. That’s probably the right word to describe this story about a woman who is frustrated with her marriage and her role as a wife. When her mother dies and she is left with a journal that describes a side of her mother she never knew existed, she goes on a quest to find out what changed her mother. In the process, she hopes to find a way to come to terms with her own feelings.

It really is “breathtaking,” to say the least. Beautifully written and poignant, it’s a story most women can relate to at some point in their lives. It’s a way to come to terms with the past and look at making the future mean something real and honest.

It’s such a moving story and I’m so glad I read it. It’s one I’m not likely to forget.

Some favorite passages from the book:

I don’t know why laughter comes at moments it should be banned; I don’t know why it rains where we least need it or why love leaves us when we most need it.

We make our choices and then we live with them. Everyone does.

He looked much younger—which was the obvious and awful thing that happens when you get old. You think legal adults look like toddlers.

All of them—the shrimp, the flounder, the crabs—they’re all coming up for air.

The bookstore was quiet and buzzing in the same way as a forest: Activity was evident, but done in the most quiet and efficient of ways. Throughout the room, bookshelves were pushed together like an overcrowded party of shy people waiting for someone to talk to them.

Love. Maybe there should be a hundred words for that one word. It seems too complex a thing to write in four letters. We have it; we don’t have it. We need it; we lose it. We win it; we want it. We weep for it; we let it go.

The choices we make when we’re broken are sometimes the most awful of all our choices.

We all become the person we are from the person we were.

No matter how many times you write it or wish it, you can’t make someone love you.

When you ruin a friendship, when you destroy a heart, you can’t walk back into it a if the damage were never done. I’d say “sorry,” but even that word wasn’t enough. Sometimes there aren’t any words that are enough to heal what’s been broken.

Sometimes when damage is done to our souls, we stop loving to protect our hearts.

Don’t you know by now that most things in our life were not in our plans?

1 comment:

Suko said...

This does sound intense, LuAnn. I loved the quotes you chose.