It is the story of Theodore Decker, a boy from New York. His life was full of obstacles since the very beginning. A good boy that had to shape himself into the different circumstances that were occurring in his life. He had a loving mother and this was the refreshing part of his beginnings. But this love had to mix with an alcoholic and indifferent father, who fortunately abandoned them when Theo was in his teenage years. However, life fell apart when his mother died during an explosion in the Metropolitan Museum, where they were looking for his mother’s favourite Dutch exposition that included the Goldfinch. Theo, injured but conscious, stole the painting from the museum, under the advice of a dying man who was also visiting the exposition with his niece.
I am fascinated by this book. Because Elena Ferrante does not disappoint when digging into the physic of her characters. They are normal people, like any neighbour we could have, to whom we say hello in the morning, without really thinking about their lives. That is only the beginning, as the stories start recounting their apparent normal lives. In this case, it was from Giovanna’s perspective, an only child, who lived with her likely normal parents, attending a normal school, with her normal friends, in a normal neighbourhood.
Isabel Allende recounts her personal story. I felt like talking with a very good friend, having a pleasant conversation, those in which you put your heart and soul right there in the middle of the table for everyone to see. This is how Isabel Allende strings together all the facts and people that influenced her life, where her thoughts and feelings contradicted her way of life, and created great concern and anger between her parents and grandparents, because at that time, nobody dared to question the inequalities in Chile and much less the place of women in society. This did not sooth her, it did not silence her internal voice, on the contrary, with time everything fell on the right place until finally she found herself as a writer, a feminist and an activist. She reached a maturity in which she is now comfortable and happy. The author also takes a look at the new generations and their role in feminism and pays tribute to people who opened the door to the actual feminist movements.
It is an outstanding novel. Published in 1985, it is an open window to Garcia Marquez own story. It is based on the romantic love between his parents and all the obstacles they had to overcome to end up being together, with some variations. In the novel, Florentino Ariza, the telegraphist, witnessed how his long time love, Fermina Daza, slipped through his fingers after his love letters chased her for endless months through the whole territory of Colombia. Fermina Daza was taken away by his father, on a long trip on mule, trying to extinguish that flame of love, and he succeeded. When Fermina returned to their home town she saw him and was disappointed. She punished him with an absolute indifference for more than fifty years.
Gnozi Adichie writes a warm letter to one of her friends from childhood who asked her how could she educate her daughter to be a feminist. When I took a first look at the book, I though her arguments were clear and at some point a bit obvious. But I realized soon enough, with sadness, I must say, that not even this feminist statements have been embraced by the majority of societies and cultures because this world favours men. And this is still happening all around the world. What can we do to change this mentality?
I try to control my mind. Because let’s not lie to each other, it dominates me, with her steel chains, with those thick links that cannot be separated. Living in the past is my addiction, I like to walk in those memories that revive with all the nostalgia my childhood, school, university, family, friends.
Gretchen Rubin has been famous for some years now. Not to me. I ran into her book by only a coincidence, looking for those books that are chicken soup for the soul. It was the word happiness that got my attention because, Are we not all looking to find it? Is it not the last end of life that all the philosophers talk about? The aim of all religions and theories in this world? She said she could find it and I was up for it.
The women in Alice Munro’s book, ‘The Moons of Jupiter‘, are constantly looking for validation by men. Unfortunately, being born in a rich country like Canada, being professional and being smart, doesn’t relate with what they are constantly looking for: Love and acceptance from their partners. Most of the time, these women leave themselves behind, giving everything for only crumbs of love in return.
The beginning of my confinement was peaceful. I was already a bit isolated in my new hometown in France, as is a small, quiet place. The only change was that my kids school closed. Ok, I said to myself, this is a scary situation and the kids need to be here with hubby and I.
I am a big reader so whenever I have five minutes to read I take them and delight myself immersing into other people’s lives. It keeps me sane and I can stay at home reading books for quite a while, besides, reading has the advantage to take your fears away while the book is open and you are enjoying your reading.