Monday, September 14, 2015

Sophie's Choice by William Styron

I am slowly making my way through Modern Mrs. Darcy's 2015 Reading Challenge. It is a challenge because I am looking for books to read that are out of my comfort zone. But one of the great things about reading is being challenged to think about life and my worldview differently, so I welcome the challenge. And so, we move onto "a book recommended by someone with great taste."

And here's a sad tale: I had a very good friend in junior high, and her mom was quite the reader. I admired how much she read. Whenever I was over at their house, her mom read on the sofa while we did our homework. Sophie's Choice was her all-time favorite book. The sad part of the story is that I am no longer in touch with this friend, but I still remembered that her mom loved Sophie's Choice. And so, in a tribute to this lost relationship and my former friend's mom's taste in reading, I read Sophie's Choice.

The book is narrated by Stingo, a twenty-something Southerner, living in New York. His neighbors, Nathan and Sophie are brilliant, abusive, and passionate. Stingo starts spending time with them and he learns more about both of their pasts. Sophie's past is heartbreaking and full of secrets.

This is NOT a light read. Actually, my experience of reading Sophie's Choice was similar to reading The Goldfinch. I was jet-lagged when I read The Goldfinch, and reading that crazy book did nothing to help. Similarly, I was home with a cold as I finished up Sophie's Choice, and it just made me feel worse. I need to read happier things when I'm not feeling well physically.

I thought I might watch the movie after reading the book, but nope, gonna pass. This book was already too heavy and disturbing and I don't need more of those images in my head.

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