Thursday, April 10, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: a writing challenge

It's time for Booking Through Thursday...

The challenge:
Pick up the nearest book. (I’m sure you must have one nearby.)
Turn to page 123.
What is the first sentence on the page?
The last sentence on the page?
Now . . . connect them together….(And no, you may not transcribe the entire page of the book–that’s cheating!)

My response: (from Paula by Isabel Allende)

Don Manuel died today

I hope my mother can last until then, I think she is about at breaking point.

In the words in between these two sentences, Allende poignantly describes the pain of watching a loved one die and having to console a widow exhausted by grief.

The page is particularly moving, given Allende is viewing of Don Manuel's death, and the grief of his family, in the context of watching her own daughter struggle with a life-robbing illness. From the last line, it would appear Allende's mother is also buckling under the weight of their battle.

So much pain and meaning in one page, and so beautifully written from a position of helpless love.

I've only just started this book, and this teaser is a reminder it's going to be an emotional journey.


BooksPlease said...

I know nothing about this book, but it seems from this extract and your summary of the page that it is a serious story which pulls at the heart strings?

Paula Weston said...

Yes, I'm just a few pages in. It's a non-fiction work by the author. In essence it's a long letter to her daughter (the Paula of the title) who fell gravely ill in 1991 at the age of 28, sinking into a coma. The back cover describes the book as "Allende turning to storytelling to sustain her own spirit and to convey to her daughter the will to survive".

I've had this book for a long time, and have been putting off reading it because I know it will be a difficult read (emotion-wise).

But I think I'm a place at the moment where I can deal with it (she says now...)

Will blog on it once I've finished.

Thanks for visiting!

Marianne Arkins said...

Interesting how differently everyone is answering this -- I took it as a writing challenge, and filled in the space between the sentences with my own words to create a new story.

Happy BTT!

Bec said...

Hhhhmmmm, I don't think I will ever be up to reading this book. Just reading your post has made me teary eyed...I guess it deals with one of my biggest fears - seeing one of your children suffer and die. I think it would leave my heart too bruised...

Linda Jacobs said...

She is such a wonderful writer. I'm definitely going to look for this book.

Linda Jacobs said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog. I only started it a couple weeks ago so it's nice to get to know people.

I have Songs of the Humpback Whale but haven't read it yet. Like you, I've kind of OD'd on her. When you're ready, though, I'd suggest My Sister's Keeper. I loved it.

trish said...

Nice job! I, as you know, totally blew this one. :-)

gautami tripathy said...

Seems like a book worth reading!

Here is my BTT post!