Monday, April 19, 2010

At last, a novel I want to get my hands on

Lionel Shriver's We need to talk about Kevin is one of my favourite novels, and one of the few which I am happy to re-read multiple times. Not because I have a special interest in high school shootings, but because I was fascinated by how she portrayed something that people never admit to - having ambivalent feelings about your own child.

And now she's written about about a guy who decides to put his life dream on hold, for the sake of his cancer-stricken wife, So much for that. Time passes, the man's bank balance dwindles and his wife is still going to die. Like Kevin, it sounds like a really depressing read. But I'm convinced I am going to love it, because I myself am often tortured by the conflict between pleasing oneself and doing the right thing for someone else (it might be a Chinese thing, I dunno).

Though it might be a while before I am willing to shell out up to $30-40 dollars for my own copy. I'm so very used to borrowing from the library (even if it means waiting a few years for it to become available).

6 comments:

donnasoowho said...

Oh might have to check that out. Sounds like an interesting read. Actually there is this book (now I can't remember the name of it, but I think it's called something like one thousand chestnuts or something). It's about a Korean woman who is brought up in the US but her mother is a migrant - and eventually ends up needing to go into a home etc and it's all about how she is torn between wanting to just get on with her life and doing the right thing by her mother. I don't know why I mentioned that - it just popped into my head.

Violet said...

ooh that sounds like it could be a little too close to the bone (not that my mother needs to go into a home just yet)...but if you remember the title I'll look out for it at the library.

donnasoowho said...

It may be (too close to the bone). It's called One Thousand Chestnut Trees by Mira Stout. If you do read it, there's a bit about a 'radon leak' that is my Granny.

Violet said...

that's not a very Korean-sounding name. And...is your granny nuclear-reactive or sommat?

donnasoowho said...

No. But in the book they convince the mother to go into a home, telling her there is a radon leak in her house and also telling her that she is getting 'the more prestigious' room but at a discounted price. Which reminds me a bit of the hijinks that were employed to get my granny into a home... (apparently she is convinced it's only temporary and keeps packing her bags saying 'she's going home soon'. My granny that is, not the mother in the book). I think the author is halfie - so has a euro name?

Violet said...

That sounds an awful lot like the scenario in an Amy Tan book I have. I think it's One Hundred Secret Senses. Very very similar, except the mother is getting alzheimer's.