Marian Keyes – The Break
There is no book I’ve ever started the relationship with more hesitation than with this one.
I’m on the airport, heading for my surf trip (on my own – no family, friends, nothing…) and I read those few lines, they tease us with, on the backside of the book and I go “hmmm, interesting…”
But then again, I’m not going for such a break myself, I don’t run away, because I can’t cope with my ordinary life. I don’t go there out of necessity, I go there, cause I want to surf.
I would prefer to read a book I can relate with. Off to the shelf it goes. “I don’t need to spend money just to spend them…”
15 minutes later… (15 minutes full of hesitation –…goes without sayin’)
“EF it, there is a reason I keep thinking about it!” CHA CHING
I sit on the bench and (obviously) I start to read different book (pretty good, or at the very least, extremely funny, too) “I didn’t even want to buy it (The Break)…”
(Sitting in the airplane, waiting for the take-off.) As I’m always nervous in these situations, I need something which really gets my attention to the fullest. I try the magazines, and although all those watches and sunglasses are cool and they might have solid travel report on Columbia (“Where coffee comes from…” Is that English? Doesn’t it miss an article somewhere? You tell me!) I need a tiny bit more to stop thinking about all the things that can go wrong with this plane.
“Ok, I will give it a try…”
70 pages later…
And yes, it does feel like this book was not meant for men. And, darn, she tries hard to discourage me from continuing to read it with some detailed, Detailed, DETAILED (did I mention DETAILED?!) descriptions of the character wardrobes, but she won’t shake me off!
70 (more) pages later… (It looks like I’m not going to get my usual airplane sleep anymore…)
By now, I’m all in; I fell in love with the whole family, with the author, with the ambient. She might try her hardest, but I’m staying with them. I go travel to London and return to Ireland. I will revisit their past, her past and will share her pain and love when remembering all those happy moments they (we) didn’t appreciate when they were a happy happy family. I wanna be with her, badly, as I do feel her sorrow to the fullest and most of all, I ABSOLUTELY NEED to know how does this end.
By the end of the book (and coincidentally my trip) I’m in love with MY family the way I’ve never been before. I want to be their Hugh (only for better, not worse) and I can’t wait to bearhug my girls when I get home. (I’m a little worried that to achieve this impact, this book needs to be read in an airplane, on beautiful beaches, in the state of utter exhaustion after good surfing sessions…So don’t try to sue me if you don’t get the same results. You, on the other hand, my end up heading to Thailand, for all I know about you.)
And now the ultimate question: Did the book end up the way it did, because the things that happened, happened or did they not have to happen? (If you feel like yelling “WHAAAAT?!”at me, read the book and come back to me…) In other words, are certain things inevitable? Can we learn from mistakes of the others? Or do we grow only when making our own?
(Some 10 days after I’ve finished the book…) I’m sitting in my bed and trying to recollect which of my holiday friends used to use the term “hip”. Darn, Marian Keyes did… I mean, that is pretty powerful, isn’t it? (I told you I felt part of their family…)
(I will dog-ear also this one, but I have, myself, hard times to believe I will. It’s so laborious…)
Favorite line (to prove that this book is, in fact, extremely funny):
“ ’We’d have so many rooms in my house that I’d have my own to decorate exactly in my taste and I’d commission special wallpaper exactly from artisans in Hungary or places like that – it would be an actual painting but on wallpaper, you know? And hand-embroidered curtains. And hand-embroidered cushions, not the same as the curtains because matchy-matchy is twee, but they’d be similar. Or maybe they’d actually clash, but in a strangely harmonious way.’
‘Strangely harmonius? Huh.’
‘And paintings. I’d buy every one of Dusanka Petrovic’s paintings.’
‘The mystery Serbian artist I’m obsessed by. We’d have a gym and a movie room and maybe a swimming pool… but what if we didn’t use it? I’m worried that after the initial thrill we wouldn’t, and then I’d feel guilty about the water being heated every day, and it would be like Elton John spending a fortune on flowers in all his homes, even when he’s not there, and this is a fantasy and it’s supposed to be enjoyable, but now it’s just making me anxious.’ “