Monday, August 1, 2011

The Meaning of Life- Finally!

I'm always amazed by an author's ability to include a tapestry of stories and details in a book and somehow tie them together beautifully at the end. When an author does it so flawlessly like Wendy Mass, I appreciate the art of writing even more. The second half of Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of life had so much depth and emotion. I was worried I might be disappointed in what Jeremy's father believed the meaning of life was much like the doubts Jeremy had. However, it was displayed in the last chapter so beautifully and true that I had to compose myself while reading it. Each and every event in Jeremy's life had some kind of meaning and connection to the lesson his father had for him the whole time.

As I was reading this book, friends and family members were wondering what the book was about. When I explained the plot (without any spoilers of course), I found myself telling a brief story about the persistent yet hilarious quest of a young boy in search of the answer to the meaning of life. What a way to tell a coming of age story that connects to so many facets of our lives.

One of the strongest connections I made to the story was the way Jeremy was somewhat forced into doing grown-up things such as riding the subway and the bus alone and even eating foods other than peanut butter sandwiches. There was a time in my life where I was too shy to order my own food at a restaurant! Finally, when my parents refused to do it for me one day and I did it myself, I realized it was something that really wasn't the end of the world. I know it sounds juvenile, but I think we go through these things throughout our entire lives- not just our middle school years. I took my first plane ride by myself at 22 years old and honestly thought at one point that I was going to mess it up so badly and end up in a foreign country. After my flight was delayed, cancelled, and rescheduled for 3 am, I realized the worst really did happened and I lived through it. Like Jeremy, I learned that my own strength and the help of the supportive people in my life can get me through anything no matter how trivial it may be.

I wonder which part of the book you were able to connect to in the strongest way? What did you reflect on in your own life after reading this book?

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