No, the title is not a metaphor, is an actual title of a book I found in the library yesterday. It seemed to fit the bill, the cover was warm and inviting, and it seemed reasonably short (no judgement, I’ve been horrendously ill all week and the libraries were closed). So I grabbed it, thinking I could make at least one joke about the obvious and move on to something else. However, what the happy cover enclosed was not something I would have liked to end this project with. I should have known what I was getting myself into with a story about a missing teenage girl, yet I chose to ignore it. This is the only reason I refuse to read Lovely Bones, and why I sometimes have to scroll through the news really quickly in order to avoid unpleasant headlines. In the case of The Colour Purple, I read it only to find out what happens after, since I knew it was only the beginning I had to get through. In this case, it was implied everywhere, hanging in the air, widely agreed yet not verified; in certain cases, allusion seems so much worse than the honest truth.
Was is well written? Yes, it flowed in the way that I think a novel like this should, told from the point of view of the best friend, left behind. The voice was very clear, the emotion seeping from the page, rising like a toxic cloud, which I breathed into my already stifling lungs. The repetition of the what ifs and the continuous rollercoaster of is she dead or not is just too much. I know it happens, more often that we would like to admit and I am glad the topic is no longer a complete taboo, and that we can have discussions about it. But what I can’t handle is a personal discussion with the victim’s best friend’s brain demons. The distance is necessary, to keep one’s sanity.
more than friends
Aside from the obvious, this week’s book is about friendship. But not just about who is there when you need someone to talk to or to sit with you at lunch. What Lizzie feels for Evie is all consuming, borderline ownership of disturbing proportions. First it reminded me of the movie Thirteen, with it’s similarities in age and the nature of the destructive friendship. When I think about it even more, Evie from the movie remind me of Lizzie from the book, in the way in which she tries to infiltrate Evie’s (from the book) life, planting herself in her house, in the constant company of her dad to the point where the older sister starts to openly question her presence in the house. Then again, it seems like the father wants Lizzie there, as a stand in for the missing daughter, until she is discovered.
A book that this week’s novel reminded me of was The Moth Diaries, but for a different reason. It is the similar kind of symbiosis that I detected here, the kind of bond that is mutually beneficial only to turn into a soul sucking black hole that consumes the hours of your day when it is no longer there. When something changes, in any kind of friendship, there is always an adjustment. Here, the adjustment does not seem to happen, as Lizzie refuses to believe anything has changes in a way that prevents the past from re-emerging. The title seems appropriate in a situation where there is literally no going back. Lizzie wants to know what happened, how Evie’s brain truly works. In the end, however, she ends up being the rubbish bin where everyone throws their confessions and she cannot handle it. The truth hurts, doesn’t it, and the worst thing is that you asked for it.
Originally I was going to make a separate post about the end of this project, but to be honest, I want to go into the new year with free Sundays. Lazy Sundays, where I won’t be waking up at the crack of dawn to read because I’m late, yet again. I won’t be blowing off friends or other commitments because guys, it’s Sunday, don’t you remember. I won’t be on the computer at 11.45pm, still panicking because I need another paragraph. I won’t scour through the internet with ridiculous search words, to find an amazing book, only to the realise that nope, my library does not have it and it’s already Thursday and no, there is no time to order it online anymore.
So was it actually worth it? Did I achieve my goals? For the most part yes. In all honestly, I did not think I would make it and I am surprised that it is week 52 already. I have read most of the books that were stuck on my ‘to read’-list for way too long, and some of those can now join the very extensive ‘let’s read it again’-list and some of them can go do something that I probably should not say on the internet if I ever plan to show this to someone important. Some of the books I wanted to read are still hanging in mid air, because I cannot go through Tess of the D’urbervilles or Vanity Fair in a week and live to tell the tale. I think my writing skills have grown somewhat as well as my editing. I think that’s the best I can do for now, to say that hey, I did this thing and now I’m off to do something else. Loooots to reread, bring on 2015! 😀
– Jatta –