Friday, December 23, 2005

To Be or Not To Be

Yeah, this book (Before You Know Kindness) is just way too heavy-handed. Nan, the grandmother, likes having a therapist for a daughter-in-law because she's good with people, "even if sometimes it made them all more comfortable discussing their feelings than she'd like." Big flashing neon sign around how private and cool this character is? What about this one; she asks her son if he regrets leaving private practice to become a public defender. He says no, people need him in his new job and he likes that. "She found herself smiling because her son was happy...but also because he hadn't allowed their conversation to grow intimate with the sort of disclosure that just might have made both of them uncomfortable."

I don't need any more info about this woman, thanks. But in every passage about her--there are about seven characters the story follows--I get this poing HAMMERED home. Enough, already.

So I'm in a position that I find pretty rarely--I can't decide whether or not to finish the book. I'm on vacation, so my supply's a little limited--a couple of YA novels, a short Thurber book, C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity. Actually, I could and ought to get to rereading the book club book. But this isn't quite bad enough to give up without a qualm.

I think I'll switch over. If I find myself coming back to Kindness, I will, but otherwise, I'm going to leave it up to my gut. It's good for so little else.

Happy holidays, everyone!

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