Friday, August 2, 2013

D'autres vies que la mienne by Emmanuel Carrère

Si l'on savait à quoi l'on s'expose, on n'oserait jamais être hereux [If we knew at what we are exposing ourselves, we would naever dare be happy]

Why I read this book?

It was given to me by my aunt's husband. I always do my best to read and most of all appreciate the books people like to share with me since when I share a book it is because it meant a lot to me, it touched me somehow, and I assume this is the case if they are sharing this with me.

What the book is about?

This is a first person voiced book. Carrère tells us 2 stories: 1 of a family who lost their child after the Tsunami in 2004; and then the death of his partner's sister after being sick with cancer. The telling takes us through different characters life stories; a heartfelt, non-fiction book that wraps you with words from the beginning of the book.

What was the thing I liked the most? 

For a somehow sad book, it was a fast paced book. But the thing I liked the most would have to be the way the author gives a voice to his characters 

What about the main character?

Could I say that the main character is death? Loosing someone? I feel that even though the book tells us the story of the 2 Juliettes they are not the main character, but mostly the way their loved ones dealt with them being gone. If so, then the main character is always present and beautifully written, even painfully so.

Final thoughts

You know how sometimes you are not in the right moment to read a book? I believe that I read this book in the right moment. Not summer, mind you, is a bit of a bummer story for the summer. But you see, someone in my family was diagnosed with cancer, and luckily for us she is now in remission for the next 5 years. But it was a hard moment for all of us. If I would've read this last year with the diagnosis being fresh I would've hated it, just because I was sad. But now, I can read it and actually see the beauty in the way the author shares the pain of others; the pain I felt when my mother died is the same pain I can feel from the daughters that lost their mom; the feelings are transmitted with the exact words necessary, not more not less. I find Carrère extremely courageous to take into this project but also the people who accepted sharing their pain, their lost; something that for me can be so private that I do not see myself being able to do what they did. 

La pire défaite en tout, c'est d'oublier, et surtout ce qui vous a fait crever [The worst defeat of all, is to forget, and mostly what made you die]

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