Tuesday, January 6, 2015

This Book Will Change Your Life - Drinking From A Bitter Cup - A Novel by the Angela Jackson-Brown.

We suppose we could tell you Drinking From A Bitter Cup - A Novel by the Angela Jackson-Brown spoke to us in much the same way The Bluest Eye or Bastard Out of Carolina did, breaking our hearts with stories of brutality forged into song. Which might tell you what you need to know, though it wouldn't capture how Jackson-Brown's fluid prose turns a tale of pain into a page turner. We may at times avert our eyes, but from start to finish, we are always moving forward and wanting to know more. Which is what we could tell you. But we don't want to. What we want to do is tell you about how we sat by our older son on a plane returning from a trip East where we celebrated his 13th birthday. How there was a party, and there was passage, nominally into manhood, though the idea of that still seems impossible. As impossible anyway, as the fact that our father missed this milestone as he has so many others, his loss forever looming, even as the years continue to pass. Yet, life continues as well, and so there we are, thinking about fathers and sons and milestones and loss, but celebration too, and passages, and there's the protagonist in Drinking From A Bitter Cup, finally able to scatter the ashes of her stand-in father across the beach as he requested, even as her actual father looks on, and there is so much joy in that, and we are so moved, that all we can do is cry. All the while not wanting our son to see it, and for no other reason than we are embarrassed to feel these things so intensely, though we do, and all the more so since his birth, and our father's loss. And so there it is, life, and birth, pain, and loss, and the possibility, as always, that the right book just might come to you at the right time, and when it does, it just might change your life, if only briefly at that.  

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