As part of a Book Club, I agreed to read a book which disturbed me greatly.
At times, I was unable to to continue reading the book, because it triggered feelings from painful events in my own life.
I put the book down, and continued days later, when I felt calm enough to continue.
Eventually, I did finish the book.
Realizing I had such painful memories within myself from my own experiences, I let my conclusions wait.
About a week before the Book Club meeting, I was able to see a broader picture.
I was able to see that beyond the events and the cultural view portrayed in the book, there was a greater theme, a theme of redemption.
Regardless of who the character was, s/he experienced some kind of redemption.
In some way, either through suffering, endurance, forgiveness, growing up, life lessons, or through a larger cultural view, redemption was provided for each person involved in the conflict of the story.
It provided insight and moved beyond simply another story.
Despite the painful memories it evoked in my own life, I was able to get beyond them to read what I perceive as this author’s larger message.
It shows me the need to be open to a larger view in general and to realize that despite the experiences that come to all of us, we can be part of a larger view, a larger service to one another.
The book is American Dervish, by Ayad Akhtar.
2012 Kathryn Hardage