I have been enamored with this book. Really, I have. Every chapter is so rich with detail that reading it is like biting into a crisp apple on a spring day. Perfection seems to be the jacket this book wears. It amazes me; it inspires me.
But then we come to this chapter. You obviously can’t hear me right now, being that I am writing a letter, but if we were in the same room or on the phone, you would have heard me breathe a deep sigh of disgust just now. I loathe this chapter. It isn’t so much that the things I love are lacking. Everything is all there – the beautiful details, the character moments, the cold yet loving setting. Really, this chapter is set up to ride along just like its predecessors.
But it is an additional element that sinks this chapter’s ship.
Forgive me when I say what I am about to say. While there is a place for the rom-com style story with multiple narratives all converging into one, I find that method to be really cheesy and boring. Perhaps that is my age talking, as in middle school and high school I was subject to many of these stories such as Valentine’s Day, He’s Just Not That Into You, and Love Actually, and I’m simply tired of them. I also find them to be kind of silly and lacking in basic story techniques.
And so you can imagine my distress when I realized that this chapter was literally one of those movies. My worst nightmare was realized. How could this happen to such a good book? How could Irving sink so low? My only explanation is that perhaps at this time, this storytelling method wasn’t overdone. Perhaps audiences were shielded from this trope.
Again, I’m not saying the chapter didn’t contain substance. There were a lot of great scenes. I especially loved the dynamic between Homer and Larch, seeing as Homer is now making the choice to not perform abortions. He believes a fetus is a human life and the previous chapters have given us examples as to why Homer would think this way. It is also interesting to see them butt heads as they have gotten on so well during this book.
I also enjoyed seeing Homer meet and converse with people outside of the orphanage in a way that was proactive on his part. He was choosing to get to know these people, Candy and Wally. The fact that he left with them isn’t surprising, though I do feel a bit sorry for Melony. This chapter got its title from somewhere now didn’t it?
If only the chapter did not set itself up as a Whose On First act meets the multi-story platform. For example, after Homer and Larch get into an argument, Homer tries to apologize to Larch when he thinks he sees his feet beneath a door. Homer tells “Larch” that he loves him and yada yada, but then he walks around the corner and, wouldn’t you know it, it isn’t Larch he has been talking to but a dead body! Waka waka! Hysterical laughter ensues.
It lacked the sophistication that I have become used to with this book. Perhaps I have become spoiled. But I can tell you this; if the book continues on this path, I don’t know how I will be able to finish it!
Forgive me for trashing the genre that you enjoy. When we see each other next, you have permission to punch me in the arm.
Until next time, friend. Danielle.