My dear cousin Katie let me borrow an audio book for my drive back to Kansas City from Wisconsin. By “borrow” I meant that she burned me a copy and by “a copy” I mean a duplicate version of what is most likely a pirated book. Unfortunately, I am a sucker for free literature and it didn’t feel any different from getting a free one from the library, so I didn’t judge and greedily accepted her kindness. 🙂
The book is called “My Name is Memory” by Ann Brashares. I have never read this author before and I honestly had no idea what this book was supposed to be about. Since the very first few minutes of disc one I have been absolutely captivated. Addicted. This is an amazing book! Not only is the plot unique and the character development so well done, but more importantly – the way the author weaves this story is awe-inspiring. If I ever become a fiction writer, I want to write like this! She jumps around between characters, places, and times sporadically (how modern of her!) but it is still easy to follow AND (my personal favorite thing in fiction and most writing) she gives me (us, you, the reader) an intimate look inside the character(s) mind and heart and past.
This post isn’t necessarily a book review or anything… I just thought you should know before I continue that this book is totally worth reading or, as in my case, listening to.
The story has been making me think about life and the choices we make. How do we love people? Would we make certain choices if we knew we could never shake the regret or the pain for the rest of eternity? Like if you were about to do something that hurt someone else or that would taint your personal morals to a large degree and you had to remember that choice forever, would you still do it? I mean, obviously you might remember a mistake you made if you didn’t make it to heaven because then your surroundings might serve as a constant reminder of your depravity…. but what about right now? This life. We make mistakes that we so often gloss over. We are insensitive to others feelings because we’re wrapped up in our own affairs. A small act of selfishness that we quickly forget, but that person you just brushed off may have been feeling lonely for months and they won’t likely forget the way you overlooked them so easily. We knowingly choose to compromise our standards for the sake of how we feel right now and then in a year’s time forget it entirely, or only regret it somewhat because it was “in our past.” But what if we couldn’t forget. What if the memory of our choices good and bad stayed with us vividly fresh for the rest of our lives. How would we conduct ourselves? How would we treat the people around us? Not just our friends. It’s easy to love our friends. How would we treat the people in our lives we’re not friends with or the ones that annoy us? What if loving our enemies is more than just the people we hate? What if loving our enemies is about loving the people we don’t necessarily hate, but who are hard to love because they’re needy, or annoying, or self-righteous, or vulgar, or socially awkward?
This book I am reading isn’t a Christian book at all. In fact, I am pretty sure it could be considered a Buddhist type book if anything, but the bottom line is the same. How we treat people matters. How we make choices for ourselves matters. Just because our memories are average and fleeting doesn’t mean our choices should be hasty and selfish.
The morals of the story: Books change lives.
This one got me thinking about how I think. That’s meta-cognition and that’s a good thing. 😉