Monday, February 20, 2006

It's a bird, it's a plane,

It's a book review!

I know, it's been ages since I've posted any sort of book review. I keep meaning to do better, but these are posts that actually take some thought, so they often get pushed down the list. However, I just finished an amazing book, one that I want to heartily recommend to y'all.

Love and Other Impossible Pursuits by Ayelet Waldman.

This book is wonderful. It seems really simple to summarize it that way, but it just is.

The story centers around Emilia, a 31 year old "second wife" with a 5 year old stepson and an infant who has recently passed away. She is overcome with grief at the opening of the novel, and the majority of the novel describes how she manages her grief and comes to terms with what it means for the coming part of her life.

She and her stepson don't have the best relationship, partly because of their temperments, and partly because she doesn't want to have to deal with anything so soon after her loss, especially another child.

She avoids playgrounds and parties, and barely survives picking William up at school once a week. To top everything else off, she has a horrible "first wife" to deal with and she isn't communicating with her husband.

What I found very interesting was her discussion of being a stepparent. It really is such a complicated dance we do, please the kid, please the spouse, please the former spouse. It's exhausting most days. And it's so refreshing to hear someone say that they don't like their stepkid. Don't get me wrong, I love The Girl, but it's a tough road.

And her discussion of going on after losing an infant is remarkable. Having never been pregnant, I can't really verify her feelings, but I can say that she made me feel like that was a situation I never want to find myself in.

I'm really not doing justice to this book - it's so much more than I can say here, so for more eloquent descriptions, go here, here,and here. Then go buy the book. It's great.

And for your daily funny (really only funny if you're a bit liberal minded), go here. Too funny!

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