02 June 2015

MISSED CHANCES LOST OPPORTUNITIES

The other day, while having breakfast, I finished reading a book that most of you have probably already heard of - "The Husband's Secret" by Lianne Moriarty. It's been a while since I last posted, and I have been looking for an excuse to get into blogging again. Having finished the book, I felt an overwhelming desire to share the thoughts and feelings I'd experienced when reading it (there couldn't be a better excuse, could there). And here's why...

I am going to be honest and say that it was probably the first time I didn't like the book I read - at all - or any of its characters for that matter. And I do read a lot. It was like I watched a dramatic play with dolls that look just like live people. Grotesque feeling. None of the characters seemed alive to me, often their actions seemed alien and unreasonable, and some of the twists were genuinely childish. But! I was deeply impressed after getting to the last two pages, and still am, frankly speaking.

It is a story about three women, it would seem remotely related, leading their own lives - one of them a successful one (at first sight), another not so, and the third one - anything but successful life, in fact her life took the worst possible scenario there could be. At some point, when one of them finds an old letter that says "To my wife - only to be opened in the case of my death" from her husband, the lives of all those three women get entangled in a way that none of them would have expected. The story development isn't unexpected, moreover, we find out the sacramental secret almost in the beginning of the book. It unwinds evenly and finishes just the way you expect it. What does leave you thinking, and probably even make your hair stand on end for a second is the last two pages of the book, which I actually want to speak about - there is already a lot written on the Internet regarding the plot itself.

When I was a teenager, I studied Spanish as a second foreign language with a Russian private tutor. Once, as it often happens, at the end of a lesson, we distracted from our main activity and started discussing something else. I wouldn't be able to recall now how and why we started talking about parallel dimensions and such stuff, but he told me something interesting, at least at the time I thought it was. All our actions basically look like a huge and very complicated Tube map, with all sorts of fancy cobwebs of "what if's". Right now I am writing this very article, but I well could be drinking tea instead? As well as you are reading it right now, but you could be checking your phone instead? Or in a second you could go for a walk, but you might as well not? And who knows, if you did, you might fall over and get your leg broken or something. Whereas if you stay and keep reading, it won't happen, but something else will. However, somewhere in one of the dimensions of our actions another you stood up and did go for a walk... This is probably no secret, but when the thought actually settles in you realise just how many things could be different for us, had we made different decisions, taken different paths, made different choices... Not necessarily better or worse, just different. The thought is scary, isn't it?

But what really is scary is that my Spanish tutor said at the end of the discussion, that no matter what path you take, the road will eventually lead you to the very same event you would have ended up if you had made a completely different choice. Which basically means, what's meant to be - will be. There could be millions of "what if's", but it doesn't really matter because everything is already predestined for us by someone else. That's what he believed. As for me, I much prefer when events develop in a way that you yourself are the master of your life, maybe not globally, maybe in little things you do can change your future. I do believe that life sometimes offers us insane opportunities, and the supreme art of living is an ability to see the opportunity and grab it right there and never let go.

Yes, I may not have liked the book - mainly because it is too depressing and everything-is-too-bad-and-life-is-shit centered, but it is absolutely worth reading it. The story leaves you thinking. It makes you appreciate your life, and life of the others, it teaches that you have to pay for every action you've made, it shows that everything around us is interconnected, it makes you ask yourself - what would I do? And lots of other interesting things, mainly that some secrets are meant to stay secrets.

I would like to know what you think - would you open a secret letter if your spouse asked you not to? Would you open it anyway, even if you knew it contained something really bad? I still haven't decided if I would... Still, all I can think about is if I did open it - what would have happened then? And if I didn't?

P.S. I need to call my Spanish tutor all these years later, just to ask how he has been doing.
Header image borrowed from andchloe.com

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10 comments

  1. Such an interesting book review and so many interesting viewpoints on life. This will definitely keep me thinking for a while! Thanks for sharing : )
    xx,
    Céline blogging on http://smultronstaellen.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. I haven't read a book in too long. It sounds like I've missed some good ones

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  3. Yummy ;)

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  4. Great read!!! I love what your Spanish tutor said - What is meant to be, will be! I totally believe that but it was a great reminder!! really great post! Happy to find your blog!!!

    xx,
    Mary
    www.sothentheysay.com

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  6. Sounds inruging! I would be super shocked if my boyfriend left a letter mysteriously, I wouldn't expect him to have secrets from each other (we operate on a policy of my phone is yours, trust, transparency etc. once you start putting pin codes on things and wont tell the other, you know something is hiding!). It sounds like a mind boggle, have you seen that film with, err I think Meg Ryan, called sliding doors? Based on what would have happened if she hadn't caught a tube?

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  7. I've never read the book or even heard of it until now. To answer your question, I wouldn't open the letter but it would really bother me a lot to know it is supposed to be only opened after death. It will make me question my spouse and our relationship would be full of doubts.

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  8. yummy!
    nice post!
    xoxo

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