Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Blackwater Lightship

This morning, when I should have been practicing, I instead stole a couple of hours to finish reading Colm Toibin's novel The Blackwater Lightship. This book was lent to me by my wonderful landlady, Anne, and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it over the last few days. It is a story primarily about a family, and the strange and fractured ties that both hold them together and keep them apart. I could identify with the protagonist, Helen, and with the way she felt she was an observer rather than a participant:
No one in Hugh's family watched things as Helen did. She looked out for a neice or nephew or cousin or aunt or brother or sister who watched everything, who took everything in as though it were not happening to them. But there was no one like that except Helen herself at this funeral; they were all involved in being themselves, and this surprised her and impressed her.
It is a simple book, but it reminded me (why do I always think it should be "remound"?) about those small (and at the same time so big) things that are really what is important in life.

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