Monday, July 16, 2007

The Girls

The Girls is the only novel I have read recently about abundant and fulfilling love. The two girls, twins conjoined on the side of the head, not only negotiate an equitable and loving relationship, in which the stronger one does not dominate or make decisions for the other; but their relationship also serves as a metaphor for successful conjugal love. Romance and tenderness erupt in the most unlikely places and it is an important plot device that no character goes unkissed. Sad and funny but very satisfying. I loved it.

My Name is Red
, War Trash, Kite Runner, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress are books written by men about cultural and political themes. Swallows of Kabul and Half of Man is Woman are novels in which failed conjugal love serves as a metaphor for male impotence under a repressive political regime. They are satisfying to read simply because the authors, writing in a very different cultural and linguistic environment, are able to successfully communicate a universal message using the theme of conjugal love.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a story of failed love and the kindness and tenderness of family and community. Memory Keeper's Daughter and Glass Castle are novels of triumph in a dysfunctional family.

At least that's my take.

No comments: