Books That Make My Heart Ache

You’ve been my imaginary boyfriend for a minute now. We have too few true journalists left and  no real war correspondents since CNN has apparently buried Michael Ware somewhere in downtown Atlanta. I just finished reading WAR and can’t wait to see Restrepo. This book horrified me on a level that I haven’t been horrified in a long time. I don’t even know where to begin. As you know I’ve read all your articles in Vanity Fair but they don’t even come close to this. We need these stories, we need to have an understanding of what these young people are going through. We have a generation that’s been fighting wars now for nearly a decade, it’s incumbent upon us to understand their angst and their pain, at least on a visceral level.

Having said all that I’m gonna need you to stop going places where there’s a strong likelihood of you getting blown to kingdom come. Thank you.

I knew this book was going to make me cry going into it, but since Lisa and I are writing a series that takes place in approximately the same area and time period it was crucial that I read. Interestingly enough, I didn’t lose it over the beatings and rapes, brutal as those were. I lost it when the mistress started taking Lizzie’s children to bed with her (not in a sexual way). I thought about the intimacy of that, and how close I feel to my baby boy on those mornings when he climbs into bed with us. The thought of someone being able to take my son away and me not being able to do anything about it, dear God. Of course I’ve read the slave narratives. I know these things and worse things happened, but it’s one thing to read about it in the context of slavery as a whole and a totally different thing to see it through the eyes of a mother.

Both these books will break your heart, but in different ways. I will probably read both numerous times, but right now I’m too heart sore. I need to pick up the latest SEP to give me some comic relief.

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3 thoughts on “Books That Make My Heart Ache

  1. Hey Ros, I’ve been running from the book “Wench”, it’s on my list for some time now (years ago I read “Cane River” and “A feast for all Saints” and it traumatized me in that way). I guess I’m not in that place to deal with “Wench” at the moment. I heard it is a great book. So I will be reading it soon. Maybe I’m misjudging the book, or my own tolerance to deal with such topics.

    I just finished “The Pirate’s Daughter” (fiction about Errol Flynn and a biracial illegitimate daughter in Jamaica) and that one too had me hesitant at first because of the abandoning and the statutory rape scenario. But it wasn’t bad as I thought, I really enjoyed that book. It left me so intrigued by Errol Flynn (I’m embarrassed) and of course the other characters in the book. I could honestly do that book again! The book “The Boy Next Door” by Irene Sabatini is another one I’ll be reading soon.

    BTW, I think I lost my copy of RockStar on a plane last year (I’m now convinced) I’ve been holding off ordering another hoping to find it. Well. I hope whoever found it, enjoys it. I can’t wait any longer is there an ebook PDF format link anywhere??? You know where I live, that book store takes forever to order requested books! And Amazon hates me. 🙂

  2. Cane River darn near killed me. I hadn’t heard about The Pirate’s Daughter. Flynn was one of my mama’s favorite actors. I might have to check it out. Sorry you lost your book. I know how awful that is. So far Genesis hasn’t released Rock Star as an ebook, but email me your address and I’ll be happy to drop a copy in the mail, gratis.

  3. Roslyn, I felt the same way about Wench. The scene you mentioned was especially troubling. Even more so when her nephew came to stay and she sent them back to the slave quarters. I felt so bad for those children. For all the angst it caused, I could not put the book down. With every new book about the slave era, I think I’ve heard it all, but this book truly surprised me.

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