Saturday, June 16, 2012

"B" books and relationships

Relationships are often challenging, constantly changing, and take genuine care.  These two books beginning with "the" and then a "B" word are contemporary books which tell the story of what happens after the death of a family member.  There is shock, grief, denial, immobilization or unusual action in both books.

A giant tree falls on the house taking the life of a wife in The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler who tells the story of the surviving spouse who has to repair the house and make a life in Maryland.  As he does so, he also evaluates the relationship that was his marriage.

Luz Avila flounders after the death of her maternal grandmother, the only parental figure that she has ever remembered in The Butterfly's Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe.  Luz had always been told that her mother had died but her abuela has left behind a slew of mysteries.  Luz decides to follow through with her grandmother's plans for a road trip to Mexico following the migration pattern of the monarch butterflies through the Midwestern United States to the extended family's home in the mountains of Mexico.  Along the way, she meets other women also searching to know more about themselves.  In the end, she must reconcile her false memories and tales told by Abuela with the reality that is her mother.

Relationships may be hard and even demanding but they also bring us our greatest joys and rewards.  We all long for some sense of family and close relationships.  They ground us.

1 comment:

Laraine Eddington said...

The Beginners Goodbye was my favorite Anne Tyler book yet, and I have loved every one. I thought it was the most subtle, instructive book about marriage I have ever read. I found it interesting that both Joey and Max loved it too.