30 October 2011

House of Sand and Fog

Finished last night.... late!  If you read my previous post, you've learned that it took me some time to warm up to House of Sand and Fog.  It didn't truly grip me until Part II.

What a sad tale.  Now I know why Dad said the film was so sad, and that I've sort of avoided this book. 

 Warning, spoiler alert. 

I don't typically cry while reading (although I OFTEN cry while watching films), but I had tears in my eyes for this ending....  the whole thing was a disaster for everyone involved. 

Shakespeare would have liked this.  It reminded me of Othello.  One small misunderstanding starts a chain of events that end in total tragedy. 

And even along the way, there are moments when the characters could have made different choices and had a different outcome.  Kathy and Lester doubt each other (and rightly so, it's a flash of passion, I don't think it would have lasted the "long haul).  Kathy gets blind drunk, Lester stews around and then invades the house.  Behrani could have gone for the gun when he had the opportunity instead of telling himself, "if I have to think about it, I'm too old." And on and on and on.

Reading Esmail's death really hurt.  I could feel the hurt, because I can't imagine how destroyed I would be if my only son were killed.

Despair over and over again.  Choices born from despair.
Kathy seems resigned to her fate in the end.  It's almost as though she's found a family that accepts her unconditionally - for the first time.

Soraya is the only survivor of the Behrani family.  This family of survivors - during the Iranian Revolution, of all things - is the victim of bureaucracy and rage and passion and impulsiveness in the end.  And her reaction is invisible to us.  We will never know.

So, no happy ending this time.

Or next time, it looks like.

Instead of sticking with the original plan of having DH pick the next book, I foolishly allowed 10-yr-old (sadistic?) DS to do so.  Next up: Tolstoy's Anna Karenina.  I think he wants to see me suffer - not because of a plot, but through 823 pages.  My reaction to my next assignment, well, he thought that was just a laugh riot.

See you in the spring.....

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