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Vermontcozy
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Favorite Passages


Peppermill wrote:

There have been some wonderful passages mentioned in these posts, many of them relevant to the main story line.  However, I'll share one tangential to major theme or plot, but which caught my fancy for its imagery:

 

"...the idea works itself free in his mind the way a deep cedar splinter from a hard week of fence-work will sometimes slide, as if tweezed by a ghost, from beneath the calloused skin of his hands."  p.97


I agree Pepper,each time I read one here,I go and find it.Its all so relevant..I even reread some of section 2,,It brings it into focus,because of so many conflicts..Another time and place that we are transported to.It took many of us out of our comfort zone..Thats why I am so in awe of TWOF..Susan

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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Vermontcozy
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Favorite Passages

krb2g....Even though it was early on inTWOF..as I look back,what a Crucial Passage...I didn't know then,how that passage for me,set part of the tone of the novel,Thanks for posting it.. Susan


krb2g wrote:
This passage stuck with me: "'Well,' says Karel, 'seems only fair that you tell me your name, don't it? Before you leave me in the dust, I mean.' "She turns the horse back at him and walks it up slowly so that she's looking directly down on him, her eyes so deep and full of their dark allure that Karel imagines she could pull him out o his boots and into the saddle with nothing more than a look. She curls a few strands fo the horse's mane around her finger and wets her lips with her tongue, and, before she gives her horse a heel and gallops him into the early morning fields, she leans down over Karel such that her hair brushes against his face and he breathes her in and she smells of lavender and of beeswax and of sweet feed, and then her voice is in his ear and she's whispering: 'Ask me Saturday, and I'll tell you it's Skala'" (35).

 

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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coffee_luvr
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Favorite Passages

So, I think it is OK to post this now.......it is from pg 157 so if you haven't gotten there yet then don't read the following.

********************************************************************************************************************

 

 

.....his mother threw her hands out instinctively after him as he was lifted from her, this is the startled reflex of a mother who's not yet grown accustomed to her child being without rather than within, of all those who have had to surrender from their bodies what they've suffered to bear and nourish...........

 

I loved this passage; I thought it was symbolic of how hard it is for a mother to let her children go whether briefly or when that child becomes a young adult and the "cord" has to be severed yet again.

Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. ~Barbara Tuchman
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pen21
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Favorite Passages

 


coffee_luvr wrote:

So, I think it is OK to post this now.......it is from pg 157 so if you haven't gotten there yet then don't read the following.

********************************************************************************************************************

 

 

.....his mother threw her hands out instinctively after him as he was lifted from her, this is the startled reflex of a mother who's not yet grown accustomed to her child being without rather than within, of all those who have had to surrender from their bodies what they've suffered to bear and nourish...........

 

I loved this passage; I thought it was symbolic of how hard it is for a mother to let her children go whether briefly or when that child becomes a young adult and the "cord" has to be severed yet again.


 

I agree, that was a very tender moment. The references in the book of mothers and children have really stuck with me.

The word surrender is what  caught my eye. To me it meant, the mother not wanting to give up the child from her womb.

Luanne

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Vermontcozy
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Favorite Passages


pen21 wrote:

 


coffee_luvr wrote:

So, I think it is OK to post this now.......it is from pg 157 so if you haven't gotten there yet then don't read the following.

********************************************************************************************************************

 

 

.....his mother threw her hands out instinctively after him as he was lifted from her, this is the startled reflex of a mother who's not yet grown accustomed to her child being without rather than within, of all those who have had to surrender from their bodies what they've suffered to bear and nourish...........

 

I loved this passage; I thought it was symbolic of how hard it is for a mother to let her children go whether briefly or when that child becomes a young adult and the "cord" has to be severed yet again.


 

I agree, that was a very tender moment. The references in the book of mothers and children have really stuck with me.

The word surrender is what  caught my eye. To me it meant, the mother not wanting to give up the child from her womb.

Luanne


coffee_luvr and pen ,   Another passage that is so vivid and felt so deeply..As all mother's here have experienced.Bruce has a very sensitive touch in his writing about women,,I really commend him for that. He get's it....Not many Authors have that deep understanding of us..Complex as we are..Susan

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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BookWoman718
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Favorite Passages


Vermontcozy wrote:

pen21 wrote:

 


coffee_luvr wrote:

So, I think it is OK to post this now.......it is from pg 157 so if you haven't gotten there yet then don't read the following.

********************************************************************************************************************

 

 

.....his mother threw her hands out instinctively after him as he was lifted from her, this is the startled reflex of a mother who's not yet grown accustomed to her child being without rather than within, of all those who have had to surrender from their bodies what they've suffered to bear and nourish...........

 

I loved this passage; I thought it was symbolic of how hard it is for a mother to let her children go whether briefly or when that child becomes a young adult and the "cord" has to be severed yet again.


 

I agree, that was a very tender moment. The references in the book of mothers and children have really stuck with me.

The word surrender is what  caught my eye. To me it meant, the mother not wanting to give up the child from her womb.

Luanne


coffee_luvr and pen ,   Another passage that is so vivid and felt so deeply..As all mother's here have experienced.Bruce has a very sensitive touch in his writing about women,,I really commend him for that. He get's it....Not many Authors have that deep understanding of us..Complex as we are..Susan


As I re-read the words of that passage, it strikes me that sending forth our children is not the only act that occasions that feeling;  it is the feeling that arises when any dearly loved creation is taken from us.  Think of refugees reaching back for the treasured keepsakes from their homes, think of those who lose a business they've created to fire, think, even, of an author or artist sending his/her work out to face the critics...   I think all of us have an instinct to pull the people and things we love back into the circle where we can keep them safe, even when we know we must let them go

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Peppermill
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Favorite Passages

I think all of us have an instinct to pull the people and things we love back into the circle where we can keep them safe, even when we know we must let them go.

 

Or at least where we wish we could keep them safe! 

 

Beautiful thoughts.  Thx.

 

(Although I understand the fear and pain of "surrendering" a child from the womb, I can't, however, imagine not wanting to do so.  Are there perhaps women who have that feeling?)

 

 


BookWoman718 wrote:

Vermontcozy wrote:

pen21 wrote:

 


coffee_luvr wrote:

So, I think it is OK to post this now.......it is from pg 157 so if you haven't gotten there yet then don't read the following.

********************************************************************************************************************

 

 

.....his mother threw her hands out instinctively after him as he was lifted from her, this is the startled reflex of a mother who's not yet grown accustomed to her child being without rather than within, of all those who have had to surrender from their bodies what they've suffered to bear and nourish...........

 

I loved this passage; I thought it was symbolic of how hard it is for a mother to let her children go whether briefly or when that child becomes a young adult and the "cord" has to be severed yet again.


 

I agree, that was a very tender moment. The references in the book of mothers and children have really stuck with me.

The word surrender is what  caught my eye. To me it meant, the mother not wanting to give up the child from her womb.

Luanne


coffee_luvr and pen ,   Another passage that is so vivid and felt so deeply..As all mother's here have experienced.Bruce has a very sensitive touch in his writing about women,,I really commend him for that. He get's it....Not many Authors have that deep understanding of us..Complex as we are..Susan


As I re-read the words of that passage, it strikes me that sending forth our children is not the only act that occasions that feeling;  it is the feeling that arises when any dearly loved creation is taken from us.  Think of refugees reaching back for the treasured keepsakes from their homes, think of those who lose a business they've created to fire, think, even, of an author or artist sending his/her work out to face the critics...   I think all of us have an instinct to pull the people and things we love back into the circle where we can keep them safe, even when we know we must let them go.


 

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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BookWoman718
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Favorite Passages


Peppermill wrote:

 

(Although I understand the fear and pain of "surrendering" a child from the womb, I can't, however, imagine not wanting to do so.  Are there perhaps women who have that feeling?)

 

Well, Pepper, that certainly wouldn't describe ME....  I couldn't wait to see that baby (and in those days, find out if was a boy or a girl!)  and be done with maternity clothes!    I always feel sort of sorry for women in very late stage pregnancy,  you feel so huge and awkward, your body is behaving in strange and unfamiliar ways  (depending on how many times you've been through it before, of course), it's hard to sleep, harder still to get up from a chair.   Well, you know.  I think it must be universal that you just want to be DONE.  

 

Speaking of pregnancy images, though, one of the descriptions I didn't find very believable was the adolescent Karel fantasizing about being in his mother's womb.  Even our very softer boys today would get squeamish about such an image.  It's hard to imagine a 15 year old would be feeling a sort of nostalgia for that time.  Developmentally, they are usually very much involved with pulling away from any emotional/ physical closeness to mothers in particular and parents in general.  And for a boy who'd never really known the softness of a mother's love, I think he'd come up even harder, not allow himself such unmanly daydreams.  

 

 

 

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Peppermill
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Favorite Passages

 


BookWoman718 wrote:

Peppermill wrote:

 

(Although I understand the fear and pain of "surrendering" a child from the womb, I can't, however, imagine not wanting to do so.  Are there perhaps women who have that feeling?)

 

Well, Pepper, that certainly wouldn't describe ME....  I couldn't wait to see that baby (and in those days, find out if was a boy or a girl!)  and be done with maternity clothes!    I always feel sort of sorry for women in very late stage pregnancy,  you feel so huge and awkward, your body is behaving in strange and unfamiliar ways  (depending on how many times you've been through it before, of course), it's hard to sleep, harder still to get up from a chair.   Well, you know.  I think it must be universal that you just want to be DONE.  

 

Speaking of pregnancy images, though, one of the descriptions I didn't find very believable was the adolescent Karel fantasizing about being in his mother's womb.  Even our very softer boys today would get squeamish about such an image.  It's hard to imagine a 15 year old would be feeling a sort of nostalgia for that time.  Developmentally, they are usually very much involved with pulling away from any emotional/ physical closeness to mothers in particular and parents in general.  And for a boy who'd never really known the softness of a mother's love, I think he'd come up even harder, not allow himself such unmanly daydreams.  


 

I hear you.  Very interesting comments about the pregnancy images.  I commented elsewhere that I had never come across similar descriptions of being in the womb and in relationship to the mother ever before and have been fascinated to first encounter them written by a man!

 

I hadn't thought about the aspect of normal male development of pulling away from parents and mothers in particular during adolescence.  I have encountered many stories of children having strong imaginations, dreams, and images of their missing parent.  Since in the womb was the only time Karel could have directly experienced his mother, I thought what was described was really evocative and poignant.  Although I hadn't thought previously about this aspect, adolescence would be about the time a young person would have the knowledge to envision such images and relationships.  Karel was already long separated from his mother, so in some senses, the normal needs for separation already had been "over-accomplished."  (I am sort of pondering out-loud here.)

 

'Twould be interesting to know what psychologists' journals and experiences say.  I wonder if Machart researched the subject.

 

Maybe I'll copy this over to the questions thread and ask Bruce to comment?

 

Pepper

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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BookBobBP
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Favorite Passages

This passage is towards the end of the book.

 

"his body was asking an impossibility of itself, that it was trying to right the wrongs that had been done to it long before the bondes stopped growing and the boy he'd been found himself at last in the warped shape of the man he'd become."

 

This passage makes me thing that Karel's and his brother's physical bodies were a representation of their souls as well. 

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pen21
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Favorite Passages

I loved the scene on page 138 about Karel and the outhouse.

 

"HIs brother Thom had told him that there were snakes down in the hole, slithering around in all that filth, biding time and waiting to bite a boy's backside. Karel didn't believe it."

 

I remember my brothers telling me stories like this. This whole scene makes them such normal boys and siblings. I was very impressed at how well Bruce can add a section like this into such a dramatic story.

Luanne

 

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FireRaven9
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Favorite Passages

p. 127

 

"My father says that if we look for ourselves in others, we're likely to find someone we don't recognize."

 

I think this is so true.

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babzilla41
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Favorite Passages

I loved the "visual" this passage created:  (pg 137) "The youngest, Karel, sat where the creek had once been, pulling shoots of grass from the soil and, with full fists raised above his head, letting the blades flutter down on himself, laughing with delight, shaking his head and sputtering loudly when the falling grass stuck to his wet lips." 

 

Such innocence and happiness ....

"I love books. If I could eat them, I would. I love their scent and often put my nose in to inhale their aroma." - Kathleen Grissom
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Favorite Passages

[ Edited ]

Vermontcozy wrote:

pen21 wrote:

 


coffee_luvr wrote:

So, I think it is OK to post this now.......it is from pg 157 so if you haven't gotten there yet then don't read the following.

********************************************************************************************************************

 

 

.....his mother threw her hands out instinctively after him as he was lifted from her, this is the startled reflex of a mother who's not yet grown accustomed to her child being without rather than within, of all those who have had to surrender from their bodies what they've suffered to bear and nourish...........

 

I loved this passage; I thought it was symbolic of how hard it is for a mother to let her children go whether briefly or when that child becomes a young adult and the "cord" has to be severed yet again.


 

I agree, that was a very tender moment. The references in the book of mothers and children have really stuck with me.

The word surrender is what  caught my eye. To me it meant, the mother not wanting to give up the child from her womb.

Luanne


coffee_luvr and pen ,   Another passage that is so vivid and felt so deeply..As all mother's here have experienced.Bruce has a very sensitive touch in his writing about women,,I really commend him for that. He get's it....Not many Authors have that deep understanding of us..Complex as we are..Susan


coffee_luvr

When reading the passage I also thought about how that baby's mother knows the hard life that awaits her son yet she's so happy to have him and wants to protect him for as long as she can.

 

b

"I love books. If I could eat them, I would. I love their scent and often put my nose in to inhale their aroma." - Kathleen Grissom
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Goodword
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Favorite Passages

[ Edited ]

 

 

...She shivers beneath her wet riding coat, and now Karel feels the cold so suddenly that he thinks for a moment that, but for distracted riding and misfortune, it could be this way with her, that he could spend the rest of his life noticing his surroundings only as they pertain to her.

   page 136

 

 

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mommybooknerd
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Favorite Passages


momofprecious1 wrote:

Page 5- "The townsfolk would assume, from this day forward, that Klara's death had turned a gentle man bitter and hard, but the truth, Vaclav knew, was that her absence only rendered him, again, the man he'd been before he'd met her, one only her proximity had ever softened."

 

I totally agree w/you that this passage definitely sets the stage for the whole story. it is hard for me to think of him as a gentle man b/c of the way he treated his sons. I just never so him showing them any love or affection.

 

Page 17- "What they didn't know, though they might have suspected as much, was that Vaclav had taken in those days to praying shamelessly of a Sunday that pestilence might visit the Dalton herd, & that Dalton had once that summer crept in the moonlight among the outermost rows of Skala's melon crop, injecting the ripe fruit with horse laxative."

 

 

 

 


Love those passages...the one on page 5 is my most favorite because it really does set the stage of what is to come...

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Peppermill
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Favorite Passages

[ Edited ]

 


mommybooknerd wrote:

momofprecious1 wrote:

Page 5- "The townsfolk would assume, from this day forward, that Klara's death had turned a gentle man bitter and hard, but the truth, Vaclav knew, was that her absence only rendered him, again, the man he'd been before he'd met her, one only her proximity had ever softened."

 

I totally agree w/you that this passage definitely sets the stage for the whole story. it is hard for me to think of him as a gentle man b/c of the way he treated his sons. I just never so him showing them any love or affection.

 

Page 17- "What they didn't know, though they might have suspected as much, was that Vaclav had taken in those days to praying shamelessly of a Sunday that pestilence might visit the Dalton herd, & that Dalton had once that summer crept in the moonlight among the outermost rows of Skala's melon crop, injecting the ripe fruit with horse laxative."


Love those passages...the one on page 5 is my most favorite because it really does set the stage of what is to come...


And passage from p.5 is the passage that troubles me most, largely because it seems to make it so difficult to have empathy for Vaclav.  Certainly he deserves accountability for the cruel things he did and, whatever his past might have been, in a twist on his own words (on blame), one is always responsible for one's own actions, often even when done under duress or for the best or worst of reasons.  Still, even as the story closed, I wanted at least a bit more of Vaclav's back story, some evidence as to whether he or the townsfolk were more accurate in their perception of whom he had been.  It had to be tough to raise four small boys, apparently largely alone, under the conditions he faced.  They did still seemly grow into decent, albeit flawed, men. But, he didn't need to maim them, he didn't need to value race horses more than draft horses when he was land-rich farmer, he didn't need to be so brutal in either discipline or racing tactics, ....

 

 

Maybe that self-perception was at the center of his tragic flaws -- that he saw himself as hard....     ?

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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BookWoman718
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Favorite Passages

For me, one of the most powerful passages in the book is also, at its end, one of the ugliest.  It is the scene in which Karel encounters his brothers on his ride back home after the tryst with Graciela.  It runs about two pages, beginning on pg.226.  Karel, having already endured a torrent of conflicting emotions over the course of that night, is - after some brotherly joshing - invited to go lift a few beers with them.  On the one hand, he is tempted by their acceptance, but the the flood of his jealousy imagining Graciela with Thom washes out any vestige of common sense or consideration for his brother's feelings: 

 

"I ain't thirsty," he says, lifting his feet back into the stirrups.  "I been sucking your girl's teats till I can't stomach another drop."

 

As Bruce forewarns us,  "... here is the moment Karel will recall so often without recounting it once even to the likes of his future wife, the slow seconds of his consideration and the unexpected, fleeting blossom of appreciation that unfolds soft and sweet and delicate within the parched cavity of his chest, ....and the expectant eyes of his two braver brothers.... Then, what has only just blossomed within him curls birttle and brown on the edges...and all that's left  is the caustic certainty that there's no moving forward unbridled,,,, that the weight of all that is dragging behind will know no abatement." 

 

This was a moment so damaging and so real that it took my breath away.  In an instant, an angry phrase, a loss of self-control, can cause injury that may not be forgiven for years, if ever.

 

 

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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Favorite Passages


Goodword wrote:

 

 

...She shivers beneath her wet riding coat, and now Karel feels the cold so suddenly that he thinks for a moment that, but for distracted riding and misfortune, it could be this way with her, that he could spend the rest of his life noticing his surroundings only as they pertain to her.

   page 136

 

 


I absolutely love this thought; it is such a beautiful insight into love.  I couldn't help feeling, though, that it was misplaced being attributed to Karel at this point in his life.  He's a 15 year old boy, and a stranger to tender and protective love.  My own observation is that this thought is way beyond the raging hormones and the maturity level of a boy that age.  It's a rare adult who feels instinctively how the minute joys and blows of the world affect his loved one.  Many love stories find their plots in just such disconnections;  we do not understand what our lovers or spouses are going through.

 

I know when I first had this sensation; and I could have believed it if Karel had suddenly felt a cold draft only when his son shivered.  It was parenthood that made me begin to consistently experience the world through someone else's eyes.  A noise too startling, an angry voice, rain falling on the stroller, and a myriad of other things that I would never have noticed for myself, suddenly had meaning as they affected my child. 

 

Although beautifully written, the tender parts of the inner life of Karel as a 15 year old just didn't ring true for me.   

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Peppermill
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Favorite Passages

 


BookWoman718 wrote:

Goodword wrote:

 

 

...She shivers beneath her wet riding coat, and now Karel feels the cold so suddenly that he thinks for a moment that, but for distracted riding and misfortune, it could be this way with her, that he could spend the rest of his life noticing his surroundings only as they pertain to her.

   page 136

 

 


I absolutely love this thought; it is such a beautiful insight into love.  I couldn't help feeling, though, that it was misplaced being attributed to Karel at this point in his life.  He's a 15 year old boy, and a stranger to tender and protective love.  My own observation is that this thought is way beyond the raging hormones and the maturity level of a boy that age.  It's a rare adult who feels instinctively how the minute joys and blows of the world affect his loved one.  Many love stories find their plots in just such disconnections;  we do not understand what our lovers or spouses are going through.

 

I know when I first had this sensation; and I could have believed it if Karel had suddenly felt a cold draft only when his son shivered.  It was parenthood that made me begin to consistently experience the world through someone else's eyes.  A noise too startling, an angry voice, rain falling on the stroller, and a myriad of other things that I would never have noticed for myself, suddenly had meaning as they affected my child. 

 

Although beautifully written, the tender parts of the inner life of Karel as a 15 year old just didn't ring true for me.   


Oh, but young love can be so idealistically, naively, fiercely romantic, imagining things whereof only long years will show the significance! 

 

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy