Sunday, October 26, 2008

snow falling on cedars

this was the last book we read for book club. i still haven't finished it. parts of it were very compelling to me and other parts notsomuch. i have about fifty pages left to read, but i don't think i'll finish it anytime soon, if at all. i will admit that this is the first book i've ever skipped to the back to read the ending before arriving there chronologically. and i don't really know why i did that.

the book is somewhat of a mystery. it covers the time in history when japanese americans were forced into camps after pearl harbor was bombed. but it also deals a lot with the history and relationships of the characters, and the attitude of the townspeople where the story takes place, and just human nature in general...differences in paradigms and how those differences affect our perception of each other and ourselves. i did like the book...but it just doesn't feel like i need to know how it ends.

i didn't set out to collect quotes in this book, but a hundred pages or so into it, i just came across some that struck me...

"There was a place in him she could not reach where he made his choices in solitude, and this made her not only uneasy about him but afraid for their future, too. Her life was joined to his now, and it seemed to her that every corner of his soul should be opened to hers because of this."

"The trick was to live here without hating yourself because all around you was hatred. The trick was to refuse to allow your pain to prevent you from living honorably. In Japan, she said, a person learned not to complain or be distracted by suffering. To persevere was always a reflection of the state of one's inner life, one's philosophy, and one's perspective."

"He was not Japanese, and they had met as such a young age, their love had come out of thoughtlessness and impulse, she had fallen into loving him long before she knew herself, though it occurred to her now that she might never know herself, that perhaps no one ever does, that such a thing might not be possible."

"If identity was geography instead of blood--if living in a place was what really mattered--then Ishmael was part of her, inside of her, as much as anything Japanese. It was, she knew, the simplest kind of love, the purest form, untainted by Mind, which twisted everything, as Mrs. Shigemura, ironically, had preached."

after rereading these quotes, maybe i will try to finish it. i've already picked up another book and i just ordered three more. hello, my name is marci and i'm a book whore. but i am also okay with that.

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