Once in a while I stumble upon a book that blows me away. This past week I have been totally destroyed by the novel Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff. I love it when I am swept deep into a character’s life, and I love it when I am surprised. I often speed along not stopping to wonder why there are little plays within the story, although I have a sneaking suspicion that they are trying to warn me of something bigger that will happen, but I am helpless to stop. I have to stay up late until my hands are cold and stiff from clutching the little paperback. I laugh and cry ( like a madwoman) and think “Yes! She is right that is just what marriage is like and then no! I can’t believe it. That is not what marriage is like!” I can only stop when it is finished and think, with a bit of jealousy that I don’t think I could ever write that well. But mostly I feel crushed in the soul that it is over.
I am certain there will not be another good book written out there ever again.
And I know this isn’t true. But I feel that way. I might be that man in the Twilight Zone left all alone in the world, left alone free to read all day long, but his glasses break. But in this case, I have my glasses ( they are always perched on the top of my head after all.) I have my glasses, but I am out of book. I feel wretched and pouty.
Until of course, I find another amazing novel and this whole business will start up again.
I am reminded of something that Nora Ephron said in her book, I Feel Bad About My Neck: “There is something called the rapture of the deep, and it refers to what happens when a deep-sea diver spends too much time at the bottom of the ocean and can’t tell which way is up. When he surfaces, he’s liable to have a condition called the bends, where the body can’t adapt to the oxygen levels in the atmosphere. All of this happens to me when I surface from a great book.”
― Nora Ephron,
Even though Nora does explain this problem quite eloquantly, I must say that in all my years of being married to a diver, never once has the bends been referred to as the rapture of the deep.
But I understand that feeling. I am feeling it now. All I can do is go to bed.