Happy New Year!

January 1, 2011

Richard B. Wright’s Clara Callan is precisely the kind of book I should like, and I did, for the most part. It was a good book for the turn of the year, following the very engaging title character through a pivotal four years in her life. Because much of the book is in Clara’s own words (her journal and letters, as well as letters from her sister, close friend, and sundry others), her fits and starts of personal development shine through. As in all our lives, there are significant events both traumatic and joyful. But the book shows that life is more about the living of it than about the things that happen.

And it ended beautifully, perfectly…until the afterword, where a character explained what we’d been reading and what happened to everyone after the book “ended”. I’m reminded again that I don’t have the need for conventional “closure” of a lot of readers. I’ve become much more comfortable treating my books much less like sacred objects, but I can still only wish I was comfortable enough just to tear out that afterword!

2 Responses to “Happy New Year!”

  1. kiirstin said

    There is *nothing* that makes me feel worse than reading an afterword (or an epilogue, or an appendix) that changes the ending of a book significantly, or closes everything off in a way I didn’t need it to. And yet I seem to read them compulsively. So frustrating. However, now I am forewarned, so perhaps I can steel myself against it in this case.

  2. Faith said

    Please…just say no! But the book is lovely, other than that. I’m catching up on a bit of Can Lit…now reading Two Solitudes, with more to come.

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