I am reading - no, I’m re-reading a book. It’s a book by one of my favorite authors, Anna Quindlen, whose work I have been following since the summer of 2000 when I read a novel she wrote about spousal abuse, a book called Black and Blue. Looking back, I remember how it felt so familiar. Like the woman she was writing about was someone I knew well.
Now, as I pick up the book I am re-reading, Every Last One, I wonder why I have returned to it. It's about a woman to whom something egregious is about to happen. How does she not see what’s about to happen? I wonder. How can she be so oblivious? (And, as I think these thoughts, I think, momentarily, of the pandemic and the way things were a little more than a year ago.)
Why am I reading this book? I wonder for perhaps the third or fourth time since I picked it up. I plow my way through the first half of the book and then, holding my breath, I get to the climax, and finally to its aftermath of grief. Why am I reading this? I wonder for the last time as I put my head down and cry.