Saturday, January 24, 2009
You're Not You: Michelle Wildgen
I'll admit it, I totally judge a book by its cover. That's not to say I won't read a book that sounded good if I don't like the cover, but if I like the cover I'm more likely to dive right in. My most recent read was no exception to this rule; I loved the rich colors and interesting angle that the cover art illustrated
Peaknit recently mailed me You're Not You by Michelle Wildgen, along with her hearty recommendation. After a few recent lackluster reads I was excited to begin this novel, and it did not disappoint.
The novel follows Bec, a college student, as she starts a summer job caring for Kate a woman with ALS. One word that kept popping into my head as I read this book was intimacy, as Bec helps Kate with all of her daily tasks from showering to applying her makeup and even speaking for her during public outings. However, Wildgen often turns that notion on its head and shows that despite how close a caregiver can be there is no way for them to know everything about the person they care for. Wildgen took a story that could have been overly sentimental and wrote it in such a way that I felt I was in the room with the characters. I was totally emerged and engaged in the story and went to bed a bit earlier a few nights just to read for a bit longer.
I think a mark of a good story is if you find yourself thinking of the characters after you finish the book, and I did continue to think of both Bec and Kate. While it’s impossible to know, I do wish you did get a glimpse what happened after the story ended. Bec had such a life changing experience working with Kate that I wanted to know who she was a year later or even two years later. Who did she become?
Another quirk about me, which I discovered when I read The Geography of Love by Glenda Burgess last year, is that if I read a book with a serious ill person I want to get through it as quickly as possible so the person in the book doesn’t suffer. I found myself starting to do this with You’re Not You and I forced myself, as much as possible to slow down and take in all the details and it was well worth the effort! I would certainly recommend this book.
Paula left a comment on Peaknit’s last post asking if I ever listen to audio books. I definitely read a lot less now that I’m constantly knitting. However, I do make time to read every night before I go to sleep and during the summer I read a lot more at the beach. However I haven’t had much luck knitting and reading at the same time. I will sometimes listen to audio books while driving, but my taste in audio books is different from my taste in paper books.
As a total side note I just saw on Amazon that You're Not You is only $5!