Saturday, June 12, 2010

Broken

I went to book club last night. I've been in my book club for about ten years, more or less. The book we read last month was Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos.

I liked this book a lot. A debut novel, there were places where it was difficult to keep my suspension of disbelief. Sometimes things tied up too conveniently. There were required stretches. However, despite this, it was a book that grabbed me by the scruff of my neck and had my full attention.

I liked the old lady who recognized the life in the objects of her home.

I loved the parts that dealt with the zen moment when creation takes over and the mind's chatter surceases.

But I mostly related to the theme of picking up the pieces of broken lives; of putting them back together in ways that would hardly have been imagined before the rents and tears and smashing of all that was.

It reminded me of one of my favorite posts of all time.

Here are a few excerpts from the book...

The more she worked, the more she became familiar with a kind of magic which only happened when she let go. For years her mind had looked like a legal pad, lined and occupied carefully with written numbers, to do lists.....this was the kind of inner noise she struggled to eliminate...only when she was quiet inside, when her mind was a large empty room instead of many cluttered ones, only then did the magic happen.

The broken are not always gathered together of course, and not all mysteries of the flesh are solved. We speak of senseless tragedies, but really: is there really any other kind? Mothers and wives disappear without a trace. Children are killed. Madmen ravage the world, leaving wounds immeasurably deep and endlessly mourned. Loved ones whose presence once filled us move into the distance; our eyes follow them as long as possible as they recede from view.

Look now. Look at what you value, what you hold dear....Look then at the faces and bodies of the people you love. The explicit beauty that comes not from smoothness of skin or neutrality of expression, but from the web of experience that has left its mark...You need not be told that these records are what render your beloved beautiful. If God exists, He is there, in the small, cast-off pieces; rough, and random and no two alike.

15 comments:

Kristan said...

Mmm, lovely prose.

Have you read EXPECTING ADAM? It's supposedly a memoir, but I read it as fiction, and as such, I really enjoyed it. I'm not sure it's THAT connected to this book, but the style seems similar, so you might enjoy it.

only a movie said...

I think this will be another book to add to my ever increasing pile. Oh my word, does that seem good.

Jeff D'Antonio said...

Based on the excerpts you posted (such beautifully crafted words), and on what you said about picking up the pieces and putting them back together again in new ways, this sounds like a book I really need to read.

Thanks. Heading to Amazon now for a copy to add to my summer reading list.

Joanie M said...

I recently read a book called The Opposite of Me by a new author, Sarah Pekkanen. I could not put it down!! I read it in less than 3 days!! Do you happen to have a Kindle? If so, I can transfer it to you.

Brian Miller said...

nice. now i know a bit more about the book you mentioned...will put it on the list...and great excerpt...until all things broken are remade...

lakeviewer said...

Ugh, interesting postulations.

Little Ms Blogger said...

I always love when I read a great book, but am truly sad when I've finished it.

Kathy said...

looks like a great book, I'm going to add it to my list. And your favorite post - one of mine, too. :)

Amy said...

That does sound like an amazing book. Thanks for sharing..

Have a wonderful Sunday.

Unknown Mami said...

That was a lovely passage you chose.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Sold! I'm adding this book to my summer reading list. Thanks for the tip Pseudo.

What's next on your book club's list?

Happy Sunday,
jj

Just B said...

lovely, sad passage. Is anybody not broken? Seems like such an imperfect system we have: We are born perfectly whole and flawless and then spend years breaking and repairing.

tulpen said...

Aw. Thanks Pseudo.

That book does seem good. Hoping my sister acquires it and passes it along when she's done(that's how I get most of my reading material.)

Sprite's Keeper said...

Would you believe my friend just promised me that book? She loved it and told me it would be great for me, but to look over the easy endings on some of the plot since I tend to roll my eyes at those. :-)

TheEclecticElement said...

Hm, this sounds like an interesting book. I'll definitely have to keep it in mind for the next time I venture to the library :)

Great review!!