I read lots and lots of books. Scratch that… I BUY lots and lots of books, but since I have a toddler on the loose at home I don’t have too much time to sit and read anymore unless I just WANT her to climb onto the kitchen table and pour all the salt out into the leftover syrup onto a stack of napkins like she did this morning.
So, no, I don’t read as much as I used to, but I still read…
And what with my limited amount of reading time these days, between diaper changes and sippy cup refills, a book has to ‘wow’ me. Especially novels; if it reads like a ‘B’ movie, that book is gonna fall off my nightstand and slide under the bed with the dustbunnies, forgotten.
Such has been the story with almost every novel I’ve read (or… started to read…) lately, until I got my hands on Fly Away by Kristin Hannah.
And I have to tell you… I was gripped. I read half the first 200 pages of the book the first night I had it. Not many books have the power to keep this exhausted mama awake and INTERESTED past 9pm.
I had never read a book by Kristin Hannah before, but I’m her newest fan. I lot of authors can tell a story, but very few of them make me read along with a pen handy so I can underline brilliant words and phrases (because I love words), and some of hers are pure perfection…
There was a very large girl with pimply skin and greasy hair who was chewing so hard on her thumbnail she looked like an otter trying to open an oyster.
That was one of my favorites. That was brilliance, right there, and I can tell you I will be looking for the perfect opportunity to use the phrase ‘like an otter trying to open an oyster‘ as soon as possible.
Though my losses may have been different than theirs, I’ve ALSO lost more than anyone should have to lose. I’ve ALSO had to wake up in the morning and know that I had to keep on living even when the pain was so great I thought my heart could not possibly keep on beating.
At first…. I didn’t think I could go on. I was sure somehow that my heart would simply stop beating or my lungs would stop filling up with air.
YES. THAT. I HAVE FELT THAT.
I’ve felt so completely betrayed that I couldn’t breathe. All those things, I’ve experienced, and so I KNEW.
There is a river of sadness in me; it’s always been there, but now it is rising, spilling over it’s banks. I know there’s a possibility that if I’m not careful, it will become the biggest part of me and I will drown in it.
And so I read this book of trauma and tragedy and heartbreak with so much hope for the happy ending that was sure to come, because the beauty of most stories of heartbreak is that there is redemption or love or forgiveness or all of the above at the end.
When I look back one last time, from far, far away, she is smiling.
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