Thursday, May 15, 2008

B is for ...

So apparently today was the day for crying while reading. It started with a happy episode, while reading the California Supreme Court opinion. But those were mere sniffles and blink-aways of gladness, compared to the sob-fest that accompanied The End of the Alphabet.

While home on Winter Break, some friends mentioned they were reading it for their book club, so I added it to my list of books to read.

It's a quick read, but there's so much emotion packed into the few pages of the story: a man has a month to live, so he and his wife attempt to visit places around the world for every letter in the alphabet, a different city each day. Some of the destinations are new and foreign and exciting, some are familiar and memory-laden. Traveling helps them reminisce about their childhoods, remember their life together, privately despair, and in some way cope. It's a beautiful little vignette about love and life and death, and Richardson writes beautifully (and, almost paradoxically, very directly) as well.

La Madre heard me snuffling from the living room, and asked if I was okay. I told her I read a sad book, but divulged no other details about the plot. Seven years on, La Madre still gets really quiet at the mention of anyone's husband dying prematurely and unexpectedly.

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