Saturday, September 8, 2012
This Book Will Change Your Life - The Cradle by Patrick Somerville.
Families. Babies. Memories. Shame. Secrets. All of which swirl around in The Cradle by the Patrick Somerville, a book we somehow believed we knew what to expect, and did, but only somewhat at that. We expected it was the story of a man sent off to a find a cradle that his now pregnant wife had once slept in, and it is that at the most basic level. Somehow though we thought it was more road trip, more twist and turn, confusion, and journey. Which it is. Sort of. Except the twist and turns are less about the physical journey, though there's some of that, and more about the emotional one. The barely healed scars and confusion we tuck away. The decisions we make and others make for us. How we try to hide from them. But they keep coming back anyway. And how they have to if we choose to live a life of any kind. All of which is to say that this is an incredibly readable book, almost a summer read, in the best sense, with its clear-eyed prose, sparse storytelling, humor, and lack of linguistic gymnastics, but one with just the right amount of heft, lived-in heft, earned heft, that lifts it towards greatness. Which also leads to us ask how we went so long without actually reading it. Any number of borderline legitimate excuses may apply, but we know the real reason is simple really. We knew what awaited us in terms of craftsmanship and skill. We also knew the questions that would arise for us in terms of what it takes to write great books, and how you do so without growing discouraged in the process. We were correct to expect this, and we will revisit it, endlessly no doubt, but enough of that for now, do hit The Cradle, because it will change your life, even if only briefly at that.