It’s been a quiet day. I preached this morning, at an early service, with the intention of going to my own church afterward, but the weather was wild enough that going back home seemed to be the most prudent course of action. So, I spent the day reading.
I have lots of required, textbook type, reading to do, but today it felt like a day of reading for me. I have been working on reading Lost Highway by David Adams Richards (2007) for over a month and finished it today. (for some reason the Kobo copy I borrowed from the library didn’t expire after two weeks). Then, this afternoon, in one fell swoop, I read all of The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen by Susin Nielsen (2012). The two works are obviously very different but both touch on the affects, both long term and short term, of bullying.
Alex Chapman, the anti hero of Lost Highway has been the subject of bullying from a number of directions which has formed his life in such a way that he finds himself living in a shed on his uncle’s (one of the bullies) property, willing to let go of his ethics, his moral standards, to show them all that he is more than what they say he is. The book is a long wander through his psyche and the factors involved in it’s development, from his perspective anyway. It was was a long, hard, somewhat circular read, which was, in some ways vindicated by the surprise ending.
Susin Nielsen’s offering comes from the young adult fiction category but touches on some very mature themes. Suicide, school shootings, grief, alcoholism, mental health issues, and bullying all make an appearance in Henry’s journal. It’s a quick, but powerful read which pulls on the reader’s emotional heartstrings. It says a lot about the value of community and family, acceptance and loyalty. While it was a quick read, this book has a lot more staying, contemplation power, than anything else I have read recently.
My holiday is over, now it’s back to text books.