First of all, I have to announce that I think that I may have broken two records in May: the first I am a little embarrassed about (but not really)-I bought twelve books in May; and secondly, I read eight books in May!
I really loved The Story of Forgetting, a debut novel by Stefan Merrill Block. I fell in love with the writing. The first line of the book:
"I never found a way to fill all the silence."And from the second page:
"But still. Even if the words go straight from my mouth to oblivion, the fundamental truth of my life is so simple, the saying of it makes me feel so foolish I can hardly bear to say it at all:You just have to read each page to understand the beauty of the writing.
I was in love with my brother's wife."
The story began narrated by Abel Haggard, an elderly hunchback man who lived alone on his family's farm outside of Dallas, Texas. Everyone who he had loved was dead or gone. The other narrator of this book was Seth, a teenager who lived hundreds of miles away in Austin, Texas. Seth was slowly losing his mother to Alzheimer's. While Abel ruminated and reminisced about his life, Seth was determined to find out about his mother's past and locate her long-lost relatives in order to find out if his mother's disease had been in her family.
As Abel wrote:
"Perhaps it was better when it (the disease of his family) went unnamed. There was a time when it was only the mysterious affliction of the Haggards, the madness that seized my mother and grandfather and great-grandfather, and undoubtedly countless others before them, but of course, in its unsparing erasure, there's no way to know for certain just how many. Just as there is no way to know how or why it makes its claims."
Seth worked hard on researching his mother's illness. He learned of her variant of the disease that had been identified and then began visiting those people around the Austin area who had been diagnosed with the same variant.
There is a story of Isodora that is told through-out the book, sometimes beginning before a chapter but not always. The story had been brought over to the United States by Charles and Millicent Haggard, and was passed down through the years to each generation. Throughout the years, Seth's mother would tell him that:
"There are places where you can cross."She was referring to the story of Isodora, just as Abel's mother had with him.
I just found this book to be truly beautiful and so well told. I can't wait to read more of his work!