As I mentioned recently, Franzen's Purtiy was on my next-to-read list. Finished that. 4/5 stars. Brilliant, but felt uneven. Of special interest to me, Franzen has an impressive grasp of object relations and is at his best in his detailed portrayal of the borderline personality organization.
After that, I read Anthony Doerr's All the Light We Cannot See, a novel that richly deserved its 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. 5/5 stars.
At the moment, I'm 50 pages into Kristin Hannah's Nightingale, and liking it. The first paragraphs:
If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are. Today’s young people want to know everything about everyone. They think talking about a problem will solve it. I come from a quieter generation. We understand the value of forgetting, the lure of reinvention.
Lately, though, I find myself thinking about the war and my past, about the people I lost.
It makes it sound as if I misplaced my loved ones; perhaps I left them where they don’t belong and then turned away, too confused to retrace my steps.
They are not lost. Nor are they in a better place. They are gone. As I approach the end of my years, I know that grief, like regret, settles into our DNA and remains forever a part of us.
I'm recommending Twinsters (limited theater release, available on Netflix). This documentary was made by a young American woman, born in Korea and adopted as an infant. I am not giving away too much in revealing that the internet led the filmmaker, Samantha Futerman, to the discovery of a hitherto unknown identical twin sister raised in France, and now living in London. Creatively told as events unfolded, what could have been a trite and overly sentimental film turns out to be unexpectedly thoughtful, genuine and moving.
Over the weekend, we saw Spotlight, a film about The Boston Globe investigation of the Catholic clergy and religious sex abuse scandal. As I've mentioned here a number of times, I was involved professionally in the scandals, working with perpetrators, victims and providing consultation. Spotlight rang very true for me. In only a couple moments that I can't even recall now, did I feel that the film got some very minor element wrong. Most of it was right to a chilling extent that would be readily recognizable by anyone who was close to the situation. If you see this film, notice the brief portrayal of Fr. Ronald Paquin, an admitted repeat abuser of children. Richard O'Rourke eerily captured the presentation of a pedophile type I've encountered many times. I wonder if he met with abusers in preparation for his role.