Books never cease to amaze. I’m reading such a book at the moment—one that came with trusted recommendation. I’ve been reading it far longer than my usual pace, but I attribute that to work and insufficient leisure. Nevertheless, it’s the first time that reading a book for a prolonged period hasn’t bothered me. Other times it happened, I got bored and lost my involvement soon enough. This one, however, keeps me coming back every evening, even if it’s only for a couple of pages.
Somedays I don’t even have the time to read through and appreciate an entire chapter. Even then, the narrative is captivating enough to grip my curiosity. It’s not a detective story—there’s no Sherlock-like whiz running around in handsome overcoats solving crimes and annoying cops all over the place. It’s not a romantic comedy with a bride to be, a confused groom to become, and fidgety bridesmaids arguing over nail colours. It’s not even adult fiction with the heroine trying to battle her adolescent pangs and a drug addled mother. All those story lines are common—I’ve seen them in movies, I’ve heard about them from friends who’ve been to the movies, and I’ve read them myself or reviews of such books.
The one I’m reading now, however—which shall remain unnamed until I finish it—is about a woman and how she’s accepted what’s become of her reality. And each page leaves me a terrified. So much so that I turn the page by instinct to find out what happens next. I relate to the main character, but it’s the last thing I want to do. I don’t want a life like hers and yet I can feel her terror, her disgust, and her mindset carrying over to my own. When she squirms, I do too. When she glows for the tiniest of victories, so do I. As she turns away from the people who command her, as do I. I feel her and know her as if she’s me. And in the fleeting second in between turning the page, I wonder—in terror—she could well be me. And that’s what keeps me going, wanting to get to the end of the story.
Despite my eagerness to know what happens at the end of the story, the build up so far also has me apprehensive. What if it doesn’t end well? I won’t want to read through, to live through, this woman’s life only to figure out that she ends up with what she endured: disappointment. And so a part of me wishes this story would go on, that the weirdness would continue—ironic though it seems.
Stay tuned for more detailed observations.