miercuri, 26 ianuarie 2011

Castele de carton/ Castillos de carton

Reading of how a friendship develops into love is always fun and brings up good memories of my own romance.

But what can you do when that friendship and romance involves three people?

Two men, Marcos and Jaime, and a girl, (Maria) Jose, find out that what they have is unique and gives them the meaning of true love. But because of their trio at first they find it fun and liberating but in the long run they cannot escape the social pressures and the fact that even though love can be big, it always is directed more towards one person that the other. So, at the end of their art faculty, they realize that although the year has given them great feelings and they have shared wonderful experiences, they are at a point of rupture. Realizing this they know none of them can become a couple without the third one.

Jaime and Jose start to feel more love towards one another, Marcos is in love with Jose, Marcos is much more talented at painting than both of them are, is afraid of manifesting his talent through his work, of fear of losing them both.
When he finally decides to submit some painting to a gallery he is received with great success, but left alone by the other two, and without someone to share his success with. This is the final moment for their relationship. They grow apart and although Jose gets back with Marcos, she will be all her life in love with Jaime, but knowing that nothing can be as it was when they were twenty and art students, sharing their love, passion for painting and feeling a harmony in being the three of them.

Marcos becomes the greatest painter of his generation and receives unanimous praise from both art critics and general public. Jose immerses herself in her work, and Jaime is being himself, managing to go through life as the opportunistic he always was.
Only at the funeral of Marcos (he commits suicide) they realize that although when being a trio they felt like they were complete, they could never feel the same again because a part of that is irremediably dead, and because that state was not powerful enough.

In a way they wanted everything and discovered, too late, that in order to have something you must make some compromises, to want and achieve only what is important, but then they were too young, and only with time they could achieve that wisdom.

marți, 25 ianuarie 2011

Oranges are not the only fruit

Another great novel and I loved it! I like how the author makes this great autobiographical account of a teenager trying to discover her way in faith, life and love.

Jeanette was brought up in a Baptist setting by a mother obsessed of the fear of devils and sins and the permanent battle for saving your soul in case the end of the world comes sooner (every next day) than expected. She first starts to question her upbringing when she attends to public school and there, her biblical messages are not well received by others, students or teachers. There she sees that people are different and starts to question her mother intolerability towards anything that doesn’t match her system of belief or values.

Most of the things in her life fall into that category after she starts to have feelings towards a fellow Christian, Melanie. They start to have a friendship that ends up being romantic and the community is outraged by the prospect so they organize session of exorcism for her and Melanie. Melanie leaves the community, but Jeanette takes the decision to continue her work in the church, but to be still true to herself. In a way she keeps the orange colored devil inside her (the Baptist church, apparently, have a way of dividing devils by their color).

Adolescence is the period in which she discovers a lot of limitations for women and , because, her feelings had their one way she starts falling in love with Katy, which is much more open in sharing her feelings as well. They commit a small mistake when they decide to take a holiday at a pension and the community finds out that she is “possessed” once more and try to figure out the course of action. This time Jeanette leaves the church, starts to work on her one, she leaves her family home, only to return in visit after two years and discover that no matter how much you feel that you family is odd(she is an adopted girl) there are some strings in place that can make you come home. In a way we don’t have the possibility to change or to evolve without making peace with the past or letting the door open for the moment when we would like to look at our past actions or events.

Growing up is difficult, and finding out that what you knew or know is not all that is can be confusing or liberating. For Jeanette it was the latter.

duminică, 9 ianuarie 2011

Bag of Bones

Ok, so I got this book for Christmas. I’m always grateful to receive books and to find out a bit how other view my literary interests.

About the book: it’s big, and reading it I couldn’t stop thinking how I would’ve liked to be the editor because some parts of it could have easily been erased and the story would have retained its consistency and maybe would be less appealing to the eye (due to its physical shrinking: from 800 pages to about 300 for my fashion).

I was a bit perplexed about how the author seems to throw in every piece of artillery that he has just to make a book, a consistent one with an intrigue and all. Crime, ghosts, the sense of a community hiding a dark secret, the loss of loved ones- all these are found in the book. It might seem cluttered when I presented them, but due to the length of the book they were all generously presented (how I wish I could have edited it). It seemed like some classic American story, the one that you could find it has been put in many movie scripts. It’s in a way gripping and it does have the authenticity of style, but I must say I didn’t quite read before too much ghost stories.

Some thoughts about the characters:

Well, Mike Noonan seems to be a bit empty of substance but the author seems to pour into him the substance of other characters, because he most resembles to a mirror, a receptacle for everything that his life gives him. He is thrown into the secret of his summer house by the ghost of his late wife, and the he finds out the secret of the community residing in TR. From there on he is only in a way possessed by ghosts of the dead or the ghosts of threats felt from the community. His wife helps him to keep his mind integrity and gives him the chance to protect a little girl which symbolizes the unborn baby that died along with its mother. Kyra is the girl that will bring a new order to things, she will in a way help break the curse that fell upon the community of Maine, after a terrible crime committed at the beginning of the XX century.

Thanks to Diana and Dan for the present!