Saturday, May 23, 2009
Valley of Grace
...Roses, he says, we could have roses. Real ones, in the garden. An arched walk, with roses, climbing over it, scented, filling the air with scent. Summer nights, and the odour of roses. Lunch in the garden, under the cherry trees......
But I had to work to get through this book. I didn't feel engaged with the story until very close to the end, and found it easier to read it as though they were short stories from the same neighborhood. I can look back now and see what brings to book together, but its all a bit late. Now I can read the back of the book and make sense of it, but at first I didn't get it.
The author has woven together the lives of individuals and couples who live in the vicinity of the Valley of Grace [named after the health care services that congregated in that area]. They seem to be connected through the central character, Fanny, and the central theme is Love. Now, I'm caught in the same trap as the back cover - do I tell you how I made sense of the book - or leave the mystery up to you? Without disclosing the secrets of the book, I will say this - every character in the book is searching for love or struggling with their love choices. There are different relationships all exploring the same longing. And the very last paragraph says it all:
Don't think of happy endings. Who wants happy endings? A series of happy beginnings, hope for that.