Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Joy Fielding's WHISPERS and LIES

O. M. G. ! ! !

This book was recommended by a friend and truly knocked me thru a loop.  It was slow going for me thru the majority of the story, I do have to admit.  The narrator's paranoia without substantial foundation was really starting to grate on my nerves!  I kept waiting for the pivotal moment when the suspicions - finally! - all came together, for the a-ha! moment, the bone chilling shiver that runs down my spine...

Well, I got it alright.  There at the end...  Those last few chapters had me riveted in place, eyes rapidly scanning the words, my hands clenched so tight to the book I thought I'd break it's spine with my light bulb dimly brightening until the room was completely luminated!!!  I turned the pages hurriedly, yet cautiously lest I miss a single word, holding my breath while shaking my head and saying, "no, no, no, nnnnoooo...."

O. M. G.

Clever, clever book.  Had me hook, line & sinker... I lied awake for hours after I finished just thinking about it.  And I'm seriously considering, before I return it, of re-reading it since I have a new perspective - oh, just got a shiver!  Yes, it's one of "those" kinds of books.  The kind that stays in your thoughts, where you feel for the characters, bond with them beyond the page.  Oh my!  You know, I really should NOT be surprised!  It reminded me, more than once as I was reading, of Chris Bohjalian's "The Double Bind."  If you haven't read that, you should.  AFTER you've read "Whispers & Lies," tho.  Ooooh, too good NOT to share!

~ quotes ~

No, I was the one who'd rushed eagerly inside, throwing caution and good sense to the wind.  That was one of the more interesting things about Alison, I decided, as a low buzz settled behind my ears.  She only seemed to be confiding in you.  What she was really doing was getting you to confide in her.

Besides, something insidious happens to women in our society when they turn forty, especially if they're not married.  We get lost in a heavy, free-floating haze.  It becomes difficult to see us.  People know we're there; it's just that we've become a little fuzzy, so blurred around the edges we've begun blending into the surrounding scenery.  It's not that we're invisible exactly - people actually step around us to avoid confronting us - but the truth is we are no longer seen.  And if you aren't seen, you aren't heard.
That's what happens to women over forty.
We lose our voice.
Maybe that's why we seem so angry.  Maybe it's not hormones after all.  Maybe we just want someone to pay attention.

What is it they say about second marriages?  That they're a triumph of hope over experience.

I was thinking it doesn't matter how old we are, fourteen or forty, we're ageless when it comes to love.

Later, of course, when age rounded those stubborn shoulders and infirmity softened her more abrasive edges, she became gradually less formidable, less self-righteous. less prone to poisonous outbursts.  Or maybe she just became less.

In becoming less, she became more, as the architect Mies van der Rohe might have said - more tolerant, more grateful, more vulnerable.

I sat back in my chair, stared at the window, saw the ghosts of my past etched in the dark mirror of glass.

After eighty-seven years, it would be as if she'd never existed.

The instinct for survival, the will to live, is an amazing thing.

How apropos that the final sentence of the book is the most fitting, the best summation:  "Good word."

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