Book of the Week · Reading · Sunday Book Club

Sunday Book Club: A Little Life

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This week has been CRAZY.  Getting four kids back in school, learning my new routine (which, by the way, I’ve failed miserably at.  I think I’ve missed about 4 things that I was supposed to do), and just having little fires to put out (My car is dying.  A long, very expensive death.), I’ve just been barely hanging on this week.

This week’s book is A Little Life.  I enjoyed it, and couldn’t put it down.  However, it’s not for everyone.  It deals with some very sensitive things, and some of it is graphic.  It paints the picture it was meant to, though, showcasing the gap between beauty and the grotesque, and how both can coexist.

In general, the plot follows four men who met in college and follows them throughout their lives.  They stay close, for the most part, and the book switches between their point of views in the beginning, but by the end it focuses on one character in particular: Jude.  Of all the men, Jude’s life has been the hardest by far, enduring almost everything you can possibly imagine.  He keeps his life secret from his friends, and they support him and love him despite not really knowing what makes him him. (I am purposefully being vague here, so you can read the book for yourself.)

Like most of the books I have read recently, this book really deals with love and what true love really means.  The definition of “love” has changed quite considerably over the years, although now that I’m thinking about it, maybe it hasn’t.  As a girl, true love meant happily ever after like the fairy tales.  A handsome prince saving the helpless princess.  But now we are learning that true love exists between friends, family, spouses, children and anyone we care about.  True love in unconditional, and mainly about saving each other.  This is the type of love that A Little Life showcases: we all save each other.  Sometimes it is the person we love who needs saving, sometimes it’s us.  But when we truly love each other, it doesn’t matter.  We do what needs to be done for those we love.

There is love in this book that is dark, especially when Jude’s story is finally told.  This darkness isn’t love at all, but evil disguised as love.  The true horrors that Jude experiences is what I caution some readers about: it is difficult and hard to get through.  But in the end, he finds true love from his three friends who have supported and loved him through the years.

Next week’s book: The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

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