Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Art of Forgetting

Marissa's best friend Julia has always had the perfect life:  she's beautiful, a talented dancer, her wealthy parents dote on her.  Life always seems to go her way until she is involved in an accident that leaves her with brain damage and an altered personality.  Marissa has always felt inferior to Julia despite her intelligence and wit, and her talent for writing.  She is short and a little chubby and has had to fight a battle with her weight her entire life, as her mother continually points out.  She has also let Julia and her mother say and do things their way, electing to keep the peace rather than confront them and stand up for herself.  After the accident Marissa has the chance to come out from Julia's shadow.  She discovers that she is capable and confident, and able to move forward with her life in a way that she couldn't when Julia was calling the shots.
Marissa becomes a mentor for young, underprivileged girls through a running program.  The program teaches them about self-esteem and other empowering topics while they train for a race.  Marissa learns as much as the girls do.  She is able to take control of her life in a way she never did before Julia's accident.  She makes momentous decisions about her career and relationships without needing Julia's opinion for the first time in her adult life.

What I liked about the book:  It made me think about my attitude, whether or not I am able to see beyond people's imperfections and love them for who they are.  Marissa realizes that thinking about her former boyfriend in the rosy light of memory is unrealistic and damaging to her current relationship.  Marissa also learns to love herself with all her imperfections and to forgive herself.  I liked seeing Marissa change and become a more confident person.

What I didn't like:  I did not like Marissa's wishy-washy personality.  She didn't really find her strength until almost the end of the book so it was a struggle to read it at times. 

Was it clean?  No, there were several f-words, mostly in one paragraph.

Would I recommend it?  Yes, if you like books about relationships you will probably like this one.

1 comment: