Books & Reading

Gravity & Remedy

Gravity – the force that attracts a body toward the center of the earth, or toward any other physical body having mass. 

Remedy – a remedy or treatment for disease or injury; to set right

Well, I finished the novel tonight. And I have to say, that while I liked the book (genuinely) and enjoyed the characters, if I were to give the book a rating out of 5 stars, I’d likely only give this book three or three and a half. It is not a terribly memorable read for me and didn’t make any deep impact on my emotions or psyche. There were some great and thoughtful passages and important messages scattered throughout, and I appreciated those. But Hoffman’s style in this book was not my favorite. Her storytelling moves too quickly for me and does not dwell enough on the details. But then, that is a personal thing and in no way means that she is not a decent writer.

I liked how the book was organized and I do believe the section titles were meaningful and well-chosen. They were though-provoking, and I’d still like to hear other readers’ interpretations of the importance of these headings.

I felt the ending was rushed and haphazard…a quick finish with little description or explanation. I couldn’t understand why “all of the sudden” there were grandchildren and why the author rushed through the later years of the Owens sisters’ lives…other than, possibly, because Practical Magic does what this book does not.

Anyhow, for what it’s worth, here are my final comments and a few of the passages/quotes that stood out to me in these final sections…

Life is a mystery, and it should be so, for the sorrow that accompanies being human and the choices one will have to make are a burden, too heavy for most to know before their time comes.

Expose yourself to your deepest fear, after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.

Anyone can be drowned. Given the right circumstances

Love more, her aunt had said. Not less.

Know that the only remedy for love is to love more.

“Don’t live a little,” Regina would whisper to her older daughter when she tucked her in at night. “Live a lot.”

Ultimately, the book centered on the concept of being true to oneself, accepting and forgiving (one’s self and others), creating one’s own fate, choosing courage over caution, and loving at all costs. The overarching message seemed to be that we cannot protect ourselves from pain or loss, we can only live as fully as possible and love…deeply and without regret, because we never know how much time we have. It was filled with little nuggets of wisdom that jumped out like obvious flowers among the weeds.

But rules were never the point. It was finding out who you were.

So…my lovelies…What are your final thoughts?

I’m planning to watch Practical Magic as a celebration for finishing this novel and because ’tis the season, of course! I haven’t read the book, and maybe someday I will. Having never read a Hoffman novel before, I have this feeling that her books are more what I would consider to be summer reading fare. I prefer a meatier, more complex read in the winter…to go along with the darker, more introspective feeling brought on by the weather. Let’s call that a bit of foreshadowing for the next selection.

Stay tuned for the announcement for the next book club selection on November 1st. I will also do a bit of an “in other books” post that day, highlighting some of the other novels I’ve been reading. Until then, happy reading…and Happy Samhain!

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