Sometimes, I want a different ending. A different narration. The book that I am reading, becomes my book. I become the author and I do not like where the narration is going, I do not want to go to the place, I do not want to feel this any longer. I can not live this any longer. I cannot watch it happen.
I am an ostrich with head in a pile of sand.
Are you still with me? Does it happen to you? Do you live the story?
There are a few books I could not finish. Various reasons and the stupidest of all was the font is too small, the big is too thick aka The Lord of the ring, actually, I say, something jinxed about it, I could not even stand the movie.
Then there is “All the lights you cannot see”. It is such a poetic book. Wonderful. I just stopped reading it. I could not live the life of a blind girl anymore. A smart blind girl. Blind, never mind that. She could see all the lights, more than me. I was tired of waiting, waiting for when the author will interweave the lives of the blind girl and the German boy. I needed a happy ending soon. It felt like a trap. I had to leave it midway.
Actually, those were the easy ones. The next one is so hard.
I want to see where it goes. where Laleh Khadivi is taking me, rather taking Rez. And with each chapter, I am feeling the nudge. I am at the edge of the cliff along with Rez . He is almost Reza now. I haven’t touched the book since morning.
A Good Country is a book about 14-year-old Rez, an America-born son of upper-middle-class Iranian immigrants. He is growing up as an all American teenager, with the complete surf, sex, weed, and chemistry deal. The words are real. So real. I loved the writing style.
One incident distances him from his all American boy- gang, polarizes him and he becomes friendly with The others. The one who shares his background. Arash is equally cool with lot of better manners and Fatima is lot more beautiful than Sophia. It took one bombing, one cheating case, one expulsion from school to nudge Arash over the fence. I think this was very weak. Very convenient .. Is it for real?
But I read on, for Rez. He is living his American life but now wants to know how to be a good man. How to be a good person. He believes what his father says “America is a good country“.
It looks good. So far. I can live this. One human to another.
Rez is still rez. But there is a series of bombing, the influence of Arash, and an airport incident where is he taken for questioning because of his name. He finds himself in a mosque and then another and then is mesmerized by brother-hood. He is now distanced from his all-white American friends, almost. His girl-friend is wearing Hijab.
And I know what the next chapter could be. and I cannot read any further. I want a different narration. A different ending. Rez is searching for his identity and how can Syria give him that?
I feel sorry for Rez. Now Reza. I do not want him to jump off the fence. To be brain-washed. I sure hope, he doesn’t take his girl-friend to Syria. To a good country. This is a scary subject.
I asked my Muslim husband if anyone can brain-wash him to go for a cause. He laughs at me. He can turn the preacher around to renounce his religion 🙂 I believe he can do that 😀 , To him, religion is crowd control and he is not scared one bit of it.
So then, why can’t Rez be like my husband? Doesn’t it feel like a bad choice of decision from an extremely bright intelligent Muslim teen? Maybe that is the point.
This is what an author does to you. This is what a good book does to you. I don’t have many chapters left to read, but I cannot read it further. I am an ostrich now, refuse to believe that Reza is perhaps going to cross borders in the next chapter. My head in the sand, I just cannot see this through. As if Reza is real. Maybe, he is.
Kudos to Laleh Khadivi. She is scaring the hell out of me. She is making me feel sad. I am gonna read her narration. But right now, I need a break. Because the story narration, the writing style is so vivid, Rez has come alive.
When you feel, what you read….