Thursday, February 26, 2009

Comfort: A Journey Through Grief by Ann Hood

I want to start off this post by writing, "Read this book!"

However, saying this might be puzzling considering the content of the book.

The author's five-year-old daughter, Grace, died suddenly after having a virulent form of strep throat. This is the author's reflection on the death, her grief, and her daughter's short life.

I've heard that losing a child is the most devastating loss ever. I've also been told by mothers who have lost a child that I would never understand the depth of the pain and grief unless I have actually experienced the loss myself.

Reading this book gave me a glimpse into that pain. It did not make me fully understand how painful it is to lose a child. I hope that I will never know that pain.

I say "Read this book!" because it is beautiful. It is also heartbreaking and very sad. But it is beautiful.

A quote:
"The first time I walked into Grace's room after she died, when the reality of what happened to us in the past forty-eight hours was still unbelievable...I screamed, not the kind of scream that comes from fright, but the kind that comes from the deepest grief imaginable. It is a scream that comes when there are no words to express what you feel."

Monday, February 23, 2009

Happy Family by Wendy Lee

Usually I don't like to read books about Chinese immigrant women and their families. All the stories seem the same - the families have a Formica table in their kitchen, the mothers hold deep, dark secrets about their lives in China. The daughters have this moment of realizing that their mothers hold this unspoken grief and are actually deep sources of strength.

Anyway! I picked up this book because it seemed like it might be a bit different from the above formula. And it actually was.

Hua is an immigrant from China. She's in her 20s and lives in New York City. She works first as a waitress and then as the nanny of a Chinese baby adopted by a white couple.

This book touches on a lot of different topics: adoption, immigration, socioeconomics, expectations, grief, finding a new life. I found the book to be gripping, yet light, and just complex enough without being too heavy. There were moments of depth in Hua's observations and then some more just honest details that were true, but heartbreaking. The story just seemed to work.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

Here we are at the third installment of the Twilight series. Bella is not a vampire yet, but she is still a one-dimensional not-so-bright girl who mutters a lot. I don't find any appeal in either of her love interests either. The vampire seems competent but rather dull. And the werewolf is angry and smelly.

Why do I keep reading? I am trying to figure that out. The writing, as I've mentioned before, is quite average. I guess I want to see if Bella is stupid enough to become a vampire. My friend, Amy, commented on my last post that it'll all come together in the fourth book, so I'm counting on that and will start reading the fourth one tonight.