On Being Wrong

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During my 31 27 Days of Reading Well, I made a big old stinking deal about the book The Saving Graces by Patricia Gaffney. It’s so good! I said. I cry every time! The characters are so real!

Well, apparently there’s something to be said about reading books in different phases of life. According to Laura, Catcher in the Rye is extremely poignant if you read it at the right stage. (I didn’t read it until after college and found it rambling and ridiculous.) I didn’t read Wuthering Heights until I was well along in my English major, and I adored it, while I know many who read it in high school found it abysmal.

I don’t think I had actually read The Saving Graces since early on in our marriage. The summer before we got married, my daddy’s best friend died from liver cancer at age 50 … and looking back, I think perhaps that affected my reading of the book more than anything.

At 29, I’ve struggled with infertility. I am married with two kids. I’ve held a job, I’ve wanted to be a writer, I’ve gone through some deep depressions. I might have too much in common with some of the characters now.

I was eager to reread my battered copy after I wrote about it this October. But in those water-stained and creased pages I found none of that original emotion. I shed no tears. I felt no real pull to the characters.

Too far away from a cancer experience? Too long without intimate women friendships? I don’t know.

I hate to recant my statements but in this case … I wouldn’t want anyone to buy the book, read it, and think I was nuts. Compared to most else of what I recommend to you, it’s just not my cup of tea anymore.

I think reading tastes change … and I think that is OK.

Are there any books that have led you to say, “What was I thinking?”

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5 thoughts on “On Being Wrong

  1. This is the reason I rarely, RARELY, read books a second time. I just want to remember them how I remember them. There's one book in particular that made such a huge impact, I'm terrified to even flip through it again lest I am disappointed.

    I always worry about this when I recommend stuff to people, too. Especially when its been awhile since I read it.

  2. Well, don't worry overly…over 50% of the 245 people who read it on Amazon gave it 5 stars…while they admit it isn't outstanding literature, they did find value in the characters themselves. 😉

  3. Interesting! I did try to reread one of my all time favorite books, Jacob Have I Loved. It really hit a chord when I read it in junior high; when I picked it up as an adult, I don't think I made it past the first chapter. I still would recommend it for tween girls though!

  4. Is it too late to say how much I LOVED the 31 Days of Reading Well series? Well, I loved it. I'm thinking I should check that Owen Meany book out of the library and see if I like it, too.

  5. I just read your post and I have to say I totally agree with you. I read Jane Eyre first when I was in the 6th grade. I loved it, but I hated Rochester, and Jane wasn’t my favorite either. I honestly thought that she should have accepted St. John and been done with it. When I reread it as a Senior in high school student (for fun, not for class), I realized just how wrong I was. St. John I now found to be ridiculous in his request, while Jane I found to be an amazing example of why we have beliefs and principles. Rochester…I was still no more than, “eh”, until I read his proposal; then I was hooked.
    Great post about changing tastes. Very insightful.

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