Read a thousand books, and your words will flow like a river.
I opened my mouth, almost said something. Almost. The rest of my life might have turned out differently if I had. But I didn’t.
“Everything is Illuminated” by Jonathan Safran Foer. Hilarious, energetic, and profoundly touching, a debut novel follows a young writer as he travels to the farmlands of Eastern Europe, where he embarks on a quest to find Augustine, the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis, and, guided by his young Ukrainian translator, he discovers an unexpected past that will resonate far into the future. With only a yellowing photograph in hand, a young man, also named Jonathan Safran Foer, sets out to find the woman who may or may not have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Accompanied by an old man haunted by memories of the war; an amorous dog named Sammy Davis, Junior, Junior; and the unforgettable Alex, a young Ukrainian translator who speaks in a sublimely butchered English, Jonathan is led on a quixotic journey over a devastated landscape and into an unexpected past. By turns comic and tragic, but always passionate, wildly inventive, and touched with an indelible humanity, this debut novel is a powerful, deeply felt story of searching: for the past, family, and truth.
There are no limits to how excellent we could make life seem.
Every widow wakes one morning, perhaps after years of pure and unwavering grieving, to realize she slept a good night’s sleep, and will be able to eat breakfast, and doesn’t hear her husband’s ghost all the time, but only some of the time. Her grief is replaced with a useful sadness. Every parent who loses a child finds a way to laugh again. The timbre begins to fade. The edge dulls. The hurt lessens. Every love is carved from loss. Mine was. Yours is. Your great-great-great-grandchildren’s will be. But we learn to live in that love.
Bath Old Books, Bath. A bookshop located at 9c Margarets Buildings in the Avon town of Bath that offers a good range of second-hand stock on two floors. Bath Old Books particularly caters for readers interested in art books, illustrated books, children’s books, literature, topography and travel. (Photo by Mcalister.C)
When Scythrop grew up, he was sent, as usual, to a public school, where a little learning was painfully beaten into him, and from thence to university, where it was carefully taken out of him.