BOOK & BLOG
December 17, 2006
This week Im reading the wonderful TWILIGHT by Stephenie Meyer. Though TWILIGHT is classified as young adult, its great reading for old adults, too, as I can testify. Isabella moves from living with her mother in Phoenix to her dads home in Forks, Washington. Bella has seen that though her mother adores her, she also wants to travel with her new husband. Bella makes the sacrifice of moving to her fathers house because she loves her mother so much. This opening gives you the key to Bellas character and sets the stage for the rest of the books action.
Though Bella hates the comparatively dark and dreary northwest and shes terrified of her first day as the new girl at school, she comes to find that kids are different in Forks. Some kids. Like the very attractive and silent group that sits together every day in the cafeteria, a group of adopted siblings living with a local doctor and his wife. Bella has never had a serious boyfriend, but in Forks, she is pursued by three local boys; very soon she is also the object of the attention of one of the beautiful teens, Edward. Though she knows without asking that loving Edward can be the death of her, she falls completely in love for the first time in her life. Edward loves her just as fiercely.
If you still have shopping time before Christmas, TWILIGHT would be a great purchase for any teens stocking, and any adults, for that matter. Its compelling reading, primarily due to Bellas character. Shes very engaging: a young and serious woman who doesnt mind cooking for her father, is always conscientious about her homework, and (most interesting of all) loathes the game-playing thats such a part of the teenage world. And yet, Bella is the one who sinks into a terribly dangerous relationship. This is a super book, with one of the most striking covers Ive seen this year.
Three of my friends have cancer. They are varying degrees of closeness to me, and they are in different stages of recovery from their treatments. But I wonder if theres anyone out there who doesnt know someone with this terrible disease? Cancer is so dreadful I think it should be very rare.
Im sure theres been reams of research done on why cancer is so prevalent now. Surely it was not as widespread years ago. Did it go undiagnosed so very many times? Or has it always been among us, going untreated until the patient died of symptoms attributed to some other source?
We are so very used to modern medicine and its amazing cures think House, or ER, or if youre my age, Dr. Kildare and Ben Casey -- what cant medicine do now? Machines can see inside your body without your being cut open! Balloons can open up your heart, and a battery-powered device can make it pump properly. If your knee is painful, it can be replaced with a new knee. Some of the deaf can be made to hear. Prosthetic legs can help the lame walk. Sometimes babies weighing less than two pounds can be saved. Siamese twins can be separated.
Yet the elusive and deadly cancer defeats modern medicine daily. Maybe this disease is a form of out-of-control nature? Like floods and hurricanes, it makes mans attempts to control it look ludicrous.
I think of how indignant I feel when my electricity doesnt work. Sometimes I laugh at what I can see I believe is my God-given right to overhead light. When the power fails, I go to pieces. Without thinking, Ill flip a switch because its dark. Then I go through the cycle of frustration all over again.
I know people in some other countries, especially third-world countries, dont have this God complex, and Im certainly not asserting that everyone in America believes he/she is invincible or all-powerful. What Im saying is: its easy to slide into the belief that were in control.
Were definitely not.
® 2010 Charlaine Harris