Thursday, June 25, 2009

Warning--There might be a spoiler or two...The Banyan Tree

I had such a difficult time getting through this book. I started it at the beginning of the month and only finished it last Friday. That’s over two weeks! Just to read one book. Mind, I was reading other books that I had to put on hold while slogging my way through this book.

Well, I immediately appreciated the richness of language and imagery. Dense and one I was able to muddle my way through it all, quite beautiful. But as I would explain to colleagues who all wondered why I was reading the same book for over a week, let alone over two, I kept wondering when the f*** the story would start. Yeah, yeah, it’s the story of the life of a woman. I get it. But why not just write my story? Or my mom’s? Or my grandmother’s? Now that would’ve been a story. Like the time she used to hop the trains to Salinas to go dancing and only return home before dawn, her parents never knowing what she did, or the time she wrote the Pope after her divorce and being excommunicated and then storming the church, telling the parish priest what-for. Now that would have held my interest. But as it was, I had to force myself to speed read, which I don’t like to do when reading novels as I enjoy the plodding slowness of savoring every word as it trickles through my mind.

Still, as I said, I did understand that the story was beautifully written, three dimensional and layered. I just couldn’t get into until after the husband died. Then it started picking up for me. But I wondered why this story was written, a devoted wife, loving husband, children. Children who all leave and are barely developed, only developed enough to grasp the idea that they leave home and never want to return. Why? And why not someone else’s story?

Anyway, I’ll wait to discuss more after more posts.

Hope you all have happier reading.