Currently I am reading the novel One Day by David Nicholls. Within less than 24 hours I have become so wrapped up in the plot and the characters that I have read half the book already. That's what a good book does- makes you hungrily devour every word, breeze through every chapter, get to the end only to regret having gone so fast, wishing you had poured over the text more slowly. That is what I aspire to achieve in writing one day- a novel that has you so immersed in the lives of its characters that you feel as if you're a part of the story.
The novel reveals the dynamics of human relationships quite honestly, making it very real. Now I'm a fan of a nice happy ending just like the next person, but if I am to be honest, lately I prefer more realistic works of fiction, raw even. Chronicling the human condition is a tough feat and when authors try to wrap it up with pretty bows and perfect couples it doesn't do it any amount of justice. Relationships are messy, at times they're unsatisfactory, yet at other times you wouldn't trade that other person for anyone else in the entire world. I admire the authors who can capture this reality so clearly that the reader can't help but get emotional. If I could spill out my emotions onto a page for an audience it would be a scary thing to behold but it would be the truth. We vent about it to best friends, memorialize it in journals, cry about it before bed, why not be able to express that? It's what I want to do, what I've always wanted to do- write about it.
This novel just makes me think about the importance of relationships. We fill are lives with so many different types and nothing is ever black and white. There's family of course but then there are friends, enemies, "frenemies," what-ifs, significant others- the boundaries constantly intersect, the lines are blurred most of the time. I learned this as early as middle school when a crush became a tormentor; in high school when a best friend forever became a backstabber; in college when a first love became a womanizing loser. We don't know how life is going to work; we have it figured out one minute, then the next it all falls apart. We think we know what's best, but we don't. We think we have a grip on things but we're really losing it bit by bit. Life is complicated and it's always refreshing to be reminded of that.