Friday, March 7, 2014

Me Since You: A Letter of Sorrow

It's been four years since, browsing through Barnes & Noble, I happened on Laura Wiess, who would quickly becomes one of the few modern authors I keep up with. I love her work for the heartbreaking emotion, the use of language and form, and the reminder that goodness, resolution, and love can arise out of all forms of sorrow and tragedy. 

Her fifth novel came out just a couple of weeks ago. Me Since You, as is usual with Laura Wiess's work, follows a teenage girl named Rowan. While the cover and title would imply life after a breakup, that is not in fact what the book is about. It's much more heartbreaking and, if I may, adult; despite the teenage heroines, I don't consider these books YA (neither does Barnes & Noble). 

What this book quickly becomes is a portrait of grief. You know how I've been talking about how good it is when fiction decides what it wants to do and does it without superfluous fluff? That's how this book is. In about 340 pages, it sticks to the same theme, the same characters, the same setting, and the same arc of emotion. It's straightforward. 

Once again, I have to expound on the use of language. Every sentence flows naturally and also artistically; these are the words that Rowan would have used while also being words that sound beautiful on the page. It's sort of like a reverse love letter, being about grief and the slow journey toward recovery. And grief comes in steps: first there is a simple unpleasant matter, then a more tragic occurrence, and then the ultimate loss. When that loss hit, I became so very heavy trying to read this book. For that reason, that utmost sorrow, I didn't always find myself reading quickly. 

Having read now her five books, I would continue to recommend Laura Wiess if you're looking for some writing that will affect you and that won't lead to a simple, passive, casual read. 

No comments:

Post a Comment