Books and understanding

Exploring our new library has had to wait.

Exploring our new library has had to wait.

Change has been in the air lately. It had been my plan to review books discovered in the new Library at Willesden Green. I have, however, needed to travel down a different path, somewhere deeper. I’ve explained before how books are a powerful tool for me on my journey of self-discovery, like having a compass along with the map. This has been so poignantly apparent for me in recent weeks.

too close to homeI’m just finishing reading Too close to home by Susan Lewis. It’s currently on the best seller list, and is well placed. I
must admit that it took me a little while to get into the meaning of it and feel absorbed in, but once I did, it was deeply felt. It portrays the paths of a mother undergoing a messy separation from her husband, along with her teenage daughter who is being severely bullied at school. Towards the last half of the book it took on the tones of a psychological thriller, which was a welcome surprise

It supported me in understanding more clearly how in change, the past is always hidden.  A new structure is a catalyst, crucible, poultice for stirring up old wounds. The pressure around the structure of change lances the boil, brings the struggles to the surface so that they cannot hide any more, and can be more effectively healed as more safety is built around them.

Other readers may come to a different conclusion from the novel, and I’d be interested to hear what you learn from this, and any other book you’ve been immersed in recently.

Another recent highlight is She’s come undone, by Wally Lamb. Pootling, as I do at times, around the library catalogue for psychological fiction, I came across this, and reserved it immediately upon reading the blurb online. I’ve read some of Wally Lamb’s work before, and enjoyed it. He explores the vagaries of human distress very sensitively.

shes-come-undonoeI admit that I was expecting this one to be slightly heavy going, difficult to stomach, but it was a real page turne
r for me – I couldn’t put it down! Well, I had to to go to work etc, but you get what I mean! The underlying themes of the effects of trauma on multiple levels upon an individual’s well-being and life path are well defined and touching. Although it’s set during the 60s, it doesn’t feel out-dated, as the themes are very pertinent to the present and the struggles young women [and men] face as they grow up and try to overcome the pain and restrictions of their pasts.

I’m going to leave it at that, as a surprise for those who would like to discover this book for themselves!

Having just about made it to book 40 of the year, I’m trying to get in a few 300 pagers to keep things ticking over target wise until I start the long awaited paperback version of The Edge of Eternity by Ken Follett!



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Filed under Book Review, books, Libraries, reading

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