Sunday, April 08, 2007

U is for Unexpected

C.S. Richardon's The End of the Alphabet is a little package that packs a surprising punch. As you navigate the early pages of the book you find yourself thinking that you're not attached to these two people, to their situation. Here is Ambrose Zephyr, fifty-ish, and married to Zappora (Zipper) Ashkenazi. Ambrose is suddenly diagnosed with an unnamed terminal illness, which sends him on a mad whirlwind tour of some of the places he has always loved and/or has always wanted to see (in order from A to Z). Zipper is dragged along for the ride, wanting to deal with what's happening to them, but suffering in silence for her love.

And suddenly, somewhere in there, I don't know how it happened. I cared. These two people whom I barely know, and yet am given little glimpses of their lives - just enough, and just precisely the right parts - to make me care and feel connected to them. It was at that point that I had to stop and make note of how I felt. Around page 114...

I feel like I'm on a rollercoaster that's climbing, climbing, slowly climbing its way to the top of the tallest peak. Clink by clink I feel the anxious pool of panic swell and spread across my chest as the tears are just welling to the brink, and are suddenly pushed back, not yet allowed to spill for the impending loss of love that Zipper is trying to acknowledge.

I need to take a breather before moving on to the next book in my Spring Reading list. I love it and hate it at the same time, when a book leaves me with that feeling.


.H said...

I read this book and absolutely loved it!

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