Saturday, January 16, 2010
Putting things in perspective and reflecting on what is important is common this time of year, but with the news of the tragic earthquake in Haiti, it takes on even more significance. I feel grateful for what I have and try to live my life by squeezing in everything I possibly can. I know that love and family are essential pieces to a happy life and have been given a second chance to make it work. For this, I feel blessed. I view my friends as emotional sounding boards and my true life lines. Without friends, who would we have to share secrets with or to act fiercely crazy with?
There are perspectives to think about in writing, as well. Who is telling your story? Which character can best relay the story you want to tell? Several years ago, I read a book with a very unique perspective, The Lovely Bones. It was told through the point of view of a young girl, Suzie, who had been brutally murdered by her neighbor as she looked down upon her friends and family from above. She told the story of her family's unraveling with grace and beauty. It's one of my favorite books. It would have been a completely different story had it been told from the dad or sister's perspective. When I watched the movie based on this story, on the big screen, I wasn't sure what to expect. I mean how do you show a girl in the after world watching life unfold below her? Not an easy task. But somehow it worked.
Another book with a fascinating perspective is The Book Thief. This story is told from the point of view of Death in Germany during WW ll. As morbid as this premise may sound, it's a poignant story. The language...poetic. The characters...genuine. It follows the life of a young girl, Liesel, whose little brother has died and whose mother has given her up to a foster family. She discovers books and begins stealing them whenever the opportunity presents itself. This is truly a book about the power of words; how words can feed a soul.
What is your perspective? Have you read any books lately with a unique point of view?