I’d been putting off this book for a long long time now. It seemed daunting; the pages were yellowed from neglect and it felt heavy in my hands. Reading is something you can’t undo. I knew this book would make me think and feel so I decided to do what I do best- sleep and eat and ignore the pretty little thing collecting dust on my bookshelf.
Yesterday night, out of sheer boredom and inability to sleep, I picked it up, determined to get through it. You see, for the past few days, I haven’t been able to get through novels god only knows why. It’s like I don’t want to bother with the motions anymore. Of anything. However, I did pick this up. I remember reading a few pages a few years ago and putting it down quickly.
This time I continued relentlessly, forcing my eyes over the words till I didn’t have to force my eyes any longer. Maybe it’s nighttime that does all sorts of wonderful and magical things to me, but I was hooked. I couldn’t bring myself to drown in the emotions of the characters, but I was pulled in pretty intensely. A little less than halfway through the book, I put it down to go to sleep and resumed (not excited but kind of indifferent yet curious) today.
I’m glad to say I finished it. Completed a task I set myself to and also ended up reading a beautiful book about loss, lies, love, secrets, passion, courage, determination, and all like words.
The plot follows the lives of five individuals whose lives change in vastly unimaginable ways because of one’s decision on a cold and stormy night. Written in the third person, the prose flows, well-oiled and fluid without making you feel disjointed or awkward about the writing. Kim Edwards has a remarkable thing for detail and she put it to beautifully heart-aching use in this story. It’s not adequate to call it a story; it seems much more, way bigger and significant.
I believe the author didn’t intend for the reader to feel like a part of the tale. The characters were sculpted to be distant and unattainable; they were too complex and beautiful to be people you’d see in the street. You find yourself viewing the intertwining threads of their life from the fringes, as if staring at a glass snow ball, shaking it just to see how the snow settles.
Apart from that, when I ended the novel, it filled me with emotion. I don’t know which ones to be exact; maybe it was happy or sad or pained or hopeful. Maybe it was nothing but a lump in the throat. Maybe it was so much that I couldn’t attend to it all. It could’ve been anything but it was something. It was something big in that moment, and it made me think about the story continuing forward. About a future for these people I’d gotten to know.
All in all, I’d love a sequel, as painful as it might be because Edwards left with a thin thread of hope. You could almost see the sunrises and the sunsets yet to come in the last line. Made me wish for more pages to turn. But I guess I’ll have to satisfy myself with this for now.