oh boy.  I am having a hard time describing my reaction to this book.  kind of like with life of pi, I can’t decide whether or not I like it.

in general I am a fan of steinbeck.  east of eden was wonderful.  although I don’t know why.  I like his writing, but I really can’t say for what reason.

one thing that I know I liked about this book was that it was easy.  it was pretty short, and I nearly finished it in one sitting.  I would have finished it all at once, but honestly?  I didn’t want to know how it ended.  even though you can’t exactly predict the details, I feel like you just know how it is going to end.  and I didn’t want it to end the way I was imagining.  my main criteria with any media is whether or not I can get behind any of the characters.  and I certainly could in this book…I really, really felt for the characters, and it was hard.  my overall feelings after finishing are not happy, I felt like there was not much hope in this book.  I was aching for redemption and was afraid I would be let down.  and maybe?  maybe I am gearing up for school, and this hit chords of “I am not in control.”  the hardest thing about how much I love my students is that I cannot do it for them.  I can plant seeds, I can love them, but ultimately I am not the one that decides how their lives will go.  and I hate that.  I wish that I could take all the ones that are headed down dark paths, and take them by the hand and save them. I wish I could take all the things that are broken in their lives and get rid of them.  I wish I could make their lives happy and joyful and set them on a good road forever.  and I hate that I cannot do that.  there are so many things I can do, but I cannot do it all.  and I felt that way about Lennie.  I wanted to save him, I wanted to help him and get him what he needs.  obviously it is a book.  but still.  I suppose that steinbeck wrote an excellent character.  he pulled me in and connected me from the very first page.  he really made me care.  and I suppose it’s good that not everything is like a romcom and ends in the cookie-cutter happy ending, but still.

“we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”  so even in stories where there is no hope, this is what I will go back to.  that there is redemption.

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