01-01-2008 11:59 PM
01-18-2008 11:22 AM
Please use this thread to discuss the first third of the novel, from the beginning through chapter 18 (when the rain begins and Gyan must stay at Cho Oyu overnight).
If you have not read chapter one, please do not read further.
Sai seems extremely isolated and the fact that she is reading National Geographic seems to indicate that she is dreaming of being elsewhere. There is a "lacking" shown in chapter one in terms of the people (judge, cook, Sai) which cannot be filled by any of them in terms of the others. Each one of these people seems very isolated and repressed and sad. Even the house itself is sad and unkempt and even the boy thieves indicated that "the house needs a lot of repairs". It is not just the house that needs repairs or is lacking; it seems to be the characters themselves (lacking in human spirit, joy and contentment).
Mutt seems to be the exception and she is content to give and receive love.
This line jumped out at me on page three (chapter one):
"No human has ever seen an adult giant squid alive, and though they had eyes as big as apples to scope the dark of the ocean, theirs was a solitude so profound they might never encounter another of their tribe. The melancholy of this situation washed over Sai.
Could fulfillment ever be felt as deeply as loss? Romantically she decided that love must surely reside in the gap between desire and fulfillment, in the lack, not the contentment. Love was the ache, the anticipation, the retreat, everything around it but the emotion itself."
All I can say is wow. Is this the way Sai felt melancholy, alone, scoping the dark of her existence and home, alone and lonely, deep and complex, hoping that love would awaken something or transform her. It is like she also felt that the people who she belonged to were not there in that house. The key word was loss and I think this relates to the title of the book itself: The Inheritance of Loss. Did the folks in that household inherit the "lacking of spirit" and hopelessness that they felt from events in their lives or from their ancestors? I also wondered if the loss related to the country itself and the different warring inhabitants of that country and the countries they warred against. Maybe it deals with what the country and its people faced and inherited from generation to generation. Was theirs a spirit lacking?
Interested to learn more from others and as I read this book.
01-24-2008 10:47 PM
Can you imagine being a young teen trapped in such a house with those two battered and crazy old men, without any peers at all?