Reading is an Act of Forgiveness

the japanese loverI’m reading this book in small increments, a few pages daily. It’s uncommonly beautiful, which is nothing less than I’d expect from a writer of Allende’s genius. It feels like a sparkling narrative, a fairy tale of sorts.

The House of the Spirits it’s not.

The Lark House community is colorful even if some of the characters feel a little thin. Alma herself is tenderly drawn but is that a bit of stereotyping going on with those “serene” Japanese? Still, I’m trusting this storytelling voice and so far, halfway through, I’m engaged.

Reading at its best is an act of surrender but it’s also an act of forgiveness. One can say the same of life, or love, I suppose.

At the end, I will have an opinion, or more than one. But the opinion will matter less than the feeling the book left me with. Will I want to go back and reread it? Or will it be set aside, an experience to be done with, easy to let go? Much will depend on what the flaws are. Which ones will I forgive? Which ones will stick in my memory like unpleasant burrs? Much will depend on me, the reader. That’s a humbling fact, worth remembering when I’m back in writer mode.

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