Reading is not always easy for me. Most times when I attempt to delve deep into a good story, I find myself unable to focus and filled with guilt because there is always something that needs to be done.
On a recent 4-hour plane ride I had no distractions and read almost half of the 500-page hardcover. I used to read Irish novelist Marian Keyes' writing as inspiration in my post college days of hoping to write my own female centric story (Sushi for Beginners was one of my favorites). Her characters are effortlessly vivid and her stories complicated and believable.
Her newest novel, The Woman Who Stole My Life, tells three different stories in one. The chapters switch because past, present and future.
Stella Sweeney is a newly forty mother that worries about her children, like we all do. Unfortunately, she becomes diagnosed with a very rare neurological disease, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and is suddenly a prisoner in her own body. Her muscles systematically shut down, while her mind is very much alert and aware. She cannot communicate to her doctors or family, but smartly her thought process was written for us to understand.
Then Doctor Mannix, who briefly had a karmic meeting previously with Stella, becomes her neurologist and develops a blink method for them to communicate by spelling out words depending on the amount of blinks. An interesting love affair happens between them and is a true testament to what is inside a person is much more important than how they appear on the outside.
After Stella recovers her marriage suffers and a new relationship is formed, plus a book tour and a move to New York takes the small-town girl to a world of personal trainers and fancy meetings.
I found myself awake at night thinking about Stella, Mannix and the other complex characters and decisions that were made in this book.
Have you read anything by Marian Keyes? I am already looking for my next good read. What are you reading these days?
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