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Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Book Thief - non spoiler alert

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Rarely does a book find its way into my mind and  heart as profoundly as The Book Thief.

It has a strange format with scene settings throughout, chapter beginnings telling you what will happen within, and outright warnings of what you might not wish to ever know.

First I was irritated by the format.

Finally I was glad.

Even with fore-warnings of what was to come, I found myself hoping for a different result. The author hit me over and over with a warning, then a whammy. And I wondered if I could read on but could not look away. Each blow more powerful, more beautiful or more sad than can be imagined.

This author broke my heart open.

I would open the book and  enter the story as far as I dared, feeling like I was somehow supporting the characters just by showing up. I even rationed along with them, savoring each chapter to make it last, knowing once it was gone I would be hungry for more.

 And, as if at the end of a powerful but troublesome relationship, this book leaves me unwilling or unable to engage with my next prospect. Just not ready.