Thursday, March 25, 2010

In The Woods

Neal in the woods, taken by my sister Annie

"What I am telling you, before you begin my story, is this – two things: I crave truth. And I lie."

For tonight's book club meeting, I read In the Woods by Tana French. I don't usually read mysteries, but I loved this book from the beginning, and since I waited until Tuesday to pick it up from the library after work, it was a good thing that I couldn't put it down. The prologue pulled me right in, and I had to find out what had happened, I had to. I read and read, and the block of pages between me and the end became thinner and thinner, and finally I began to realize, with a touch of desperation, that I was never going to know.

And then it broke my heart.

I finished the book around 12 last night, closed it, told Aaron I hated it, threw it across the bed, and started to cry.

It's true that I have a bit of a dramatic personality, one that enjoys romance, but I also believe that I have some form of separation anxiety which makes it very hard for me to cope with the idea that two people, real or fictional, who have been very close, may never be near each other or even see each other again. I don't know if this is simply a factor of my own personality or if it comes from the frustrations I experienced during my own long-distance relationship. In any case, I felt devastated.

I woke up this morning still feeling sad, but no longer hating In the Woods. I couldn't let go of it - I turned it over in my head, playing with and testing it like a small pebble held in my mouth. I read a few reviews online this afternoon, and many felt bitterly disappointed about the ending. I did too, when I finished it.

But I almost love it again because goodness, that's life. Sometimes important things are forgotten, sometimes the bad guy gets away. And sometimes we utterly screw up, and by the time we stop ourselves, by the time we've realized what we've done, it's too late. Sometimes a handful of small choices accumulate into only one chance, and sometimes we blow it.

And for me, that was the saddest thing of all.

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