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193 pages, Hardcover
First published January 12, 2016
“It interests me how we find ways to feel superior to another person, another group of people. It happens everywhere, and all the time. Whatever we call it, I think it’s the lowest part of who we are, this need to find someone else to put down.”
This is a story about a woman who loves her daughter. Imperfectly. Because we all love imperfectly.
...I think I know so well the pain we children clutch to our chests, how it lasts our whole lifetime, with longings so large you can’t even weep. We hold it tight, we do, with each seizure of the beating heart: This is mine, this is mine, this is mine.”This story shows how some of us simply cannot bear to face the harm we have done and so we lash out at all around us with unfair, ignorant judgments to make ourselves feel superior, or we erect silly walls of silence (as if by closing our eyes and pretending to nap, it shall disappear) to protect ourselves from acknowledging our faults, responsibilities and past mistakes. The story shows how some among us are apparently incapable of communicating our feelings of love, gratitude and forgiveness and are unable to grant the smallest measures of redemption.
It interests me how we find ways to feel superior to another person, another group of people. It happens everywhere, all the time. Whatever we call it, I think it's the lowest part of who we are, this need to find someone else to put down.
As she recovers from surgery complications, a shocked Lucy receives a five day visit from her estranged mother who can only express her feelings by telling stories of old acquaintances and their imperfect lives; and while listening, Lucy Barton revisits her own memories of terror, isolation and the "thing" she does not want to remember in order to make peace with herself and her family.
Interesting and touching read narrated in the form of multiple short stories as with Olive Kitteridge.