Put in a Mood
0 comment Thursday, July 31, 2014 |
Do you ever take on the mood of the characters in a book you are reading, even after you've put it down for a rest? Yesterday I started "Testimony" by Anita Shreve and was thoroughly highjacked. By noon today, I'd finished it and it left me in tatters. It was that good.
But it was tough reading. For a mother, it was wrenching. "Testimony" is a lesson in how one seemingly small -- but irrefutably wrong -- decision can derail a life, and the lives of others forced to trail in its wake.
The more specific context: how alcohol and a comely young girl led a few teenage boys at a private boarding school to commit an act that irrevocably changed their lives, their parents' lives, and the quiet lives lived in the surrounding Vermont town.
For a while, the book took me over. I felt like I was choking. My mood was taken hostage; sometimes it was hard to breathe.
So this afternoon . . . spent in the backyard, supervising Mr. M's splashes in the pool, while he is still so young and mercifully blameless? While I sweated and brooded and mashed down tears? Would have been better spent doing something else. Anything else. A root canal, maybe. Chucky Cheese, even.
The phone rang, off and on. Most of the time I couldn't answer it. Once, when I did, "Your voice sounds flat," a friend observed. And it was.
I can't say much more about the book without spoiling it. But I can say this: when Mr. M is thirteen, "Testimony" will be required reading, just as it would, were he my daughter instead. It ought to be on every mother's reading list, starting now.
And no, but would that I were, I'm not Anita Shreve's secret agent.