Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Brutality of Ending A Good Book

I read somewhere that finishing a good book is akin to ending a relationship.  Story characters that we've come to care about are no longer luring us back to find out what has happened to them since the last time we've visited; revealed plots and subplots have released their clutches from our need-to-know; situations have been resolved and no longer need us to be sure everything checks out okay.  The whole relationship has died just as suddenly as the man in J.K. Rowlings' The Casual Vacancy.

Now I am left standing in a church yard with all of the people I was teased into feelings for.  Damn the whole five hundred and three pages of interwoven lives that gulped me alive for three weeks of late night readings. Damn it--its just not fair!

At least the characters in the book have one another to bump into between the covers tonight. I'll have no one with whom to commiserate as I relinquish into a night deprived of their fictional lives spread open for me to greedily read with out ever having been a part of their world.  How did my emotions sink so low from just a collection of words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, chapters?  What is it that made this novel slink into my heart, rip apart its red muscle, and cause me to plunge into a river of turmoil, just because I turned the final page? How did the author do this to me?

Reflecting on whether or not I am being overly dramatic, well, perhaps a bit.  But not by much.  After all, it was a good book.

Heather Leigh

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